One of my favorite all time snacks is this healthy vegetarian version of the Mediterranean appetizer called Kibbeh. I’m really not sure where and how this version of the famous dish originated, but all I know is I never really liked the meat Kibbeh version and so my mom started making this snack for me whenever she cooked the normal Kibbeh for the family.
One day, I decided to watch how my mom makes this dish and was totally surprised at how easy it is. Although, when she made it for me, she made the dough into patties and fried them in some oil, the same way she cooks the meat version. However, when I decided to make it, I tried baking it in the oven and loved it so much more. This way it’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside without any greasiness.
This recipe requires something called Pepper Paste or “Capsicum Paste”, this is very similar to tomato paste but is a puree made from various types of cooked and peeled capsicums . This is a very common element used in both Turkish and Syrian dishes. If you cannot find it in a store near you, there are some online recipes that show you how to make your own. If you are not a fan of spicy food, make sure you use the mild version of this paste as the spicy one can be unbearably hot. This I found out the hard way when I decided to use some of my dad’s pepper paste once and ended up barely able to eat that batch.
And so a few weeks ago, I decided to continue this tradition and pass the recipe on to my daughter. I must say, this recipe is pretty fun for kids and she absolutely loved the whole messy process of grating the vegetables and diving in with her elbows to knead the squishy mixture until she was tired. If you don’t have kids to entertain and are too lazy to go in there with your hands, you can use a food processor on low and let it do the job.
I would love to hear your feedback on this dish if you decide to try it.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 30 – 40 minutes
1 Cup Fine Bulgur (washed and soaked in warm water for 20 minutes)
2 Boiled Potatoes
Half an Onion
3 TBSP Tomato Paste
1 & half TBSP Capsicum Paste (Mild)
2 TBSP Pomegranate Sauce
2 TSP Ground Cumin
1 TSP Oregano
1 TSP Salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (356 °F)
2. Place the Bulgur in a large bowl and grate the boiled potato and onion on top
3. Add the Tomato paste, Capsicum paste, Pomegranate sauce, ground Cumin, Oregano and salt and combine together
4. Knead the mixture by hand for a few minutes until its well combined and resembles a dough.
5. Spread the mixture 1 inch thickness in a a ceramic or glass baking dish and cut through with a wet knife to divide it into squares. This will help you take the Kibbeh out of the dish when its done cooking.
6. Bake for 50 minutes until the top and side are crispy.
7. Let it cool for 10 minutes before taking the squares out of the baking dish.