Today we experienced a traditional feast that is eaten during the fast of Ramadan. We were all so excited today knowing we were making Kibbeh. Made from a blend of cooked bulgur wheat, chopped mint, spices and onions stirred into ground lamb, then cooked as small patties, kibbeh is a favourite traditional Lebanese dish.
The Arabic word kubbah means "ball". Other names for the dish derive either from the Persian word کوفته kofteh meaning ground meat, the Turkish icli kofte, and funnily enough, the Jewish Northeastern Neo-Aramaic is called כותילה kutele.
Outside Kibbeh shell mixture:
Wash and drain 1 kg burgur and let rest overnight in fridge.
Blend 1 red capsicum, 3 onions, 1 bunch basil, 1/2 tsp cummin, 1 tsp salt and pepper together to a paste. Add to burgul and mix through. Then mix through 1kg finely ground beef or lamb. Place this mixture through a mincer for a finer mince.
Inside Kibbeh shell:
Cook onion in oil, add mince beef, season well with cummin, pomegranate syrup, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts. Cook 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Take an egg sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, making a space for filling. Add filling and pinch the top to seal the ball. You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, or leave as a ball.
Fry kibbeh in oil at 180'C for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Kibbeh mixture can be made into several different dishes. Above, the mince is placed into a baking dish and baked, then cut into diamonds to serve.
We made a delicious quick and really simple Lebanese Omelette, Ijhee.
Combine together all below ingredients, place in a greased baking dish and cook 30 minutes until golden.
2 bunches parsley, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
2 cups zucchini, grated
2 onions, choppped
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pine nuts, roasted
1 tablespoon slivered almonds roasted
Next we made a traditional Radish Salad.
Grate 2 bunches of radishes and place in a bowl. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon over the radish and then add the salt to flavour. Simple, elegant and a wonderful accompaniment to Kibbeh.
A delicious Lentil soup was made today. Place lentils and water in large pot, bring to the boil and simmer 40 minutes until creamy. traditionally, 1/2 of rice is added to the pot to thicken the soup. As we are so many cooks, we all have opinions and far too many views. So we added onions cooked in oil to the pot later on.
Combine 500gm ghee with 750gm plain flour, 500gm icing sugar,
2 teaspoons vanilla essence and a pinch of Bi carb soda. Mix in with your hands until the dough comes together. Roll into lengths, cut and place an almond half on top of each piece. bake hot oven 15 minutes. Let cool on tray.
Finally, we made a Coconut Cake, Jazel Hind.
Beat 3 eggs with 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 cup milk and 1 cup oil. Add 3 cups SR flour, 2 cups shredded coconut and 2 teaspoons baking powder. Mix to combine. Pour in greased baking dish, and bake 180'C for 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven, pour some Lebanese sugar syrup over the hot cake and sprinkle with more coconut on top. Cut in diagonals to serve.