This kibbeh is baked rather than fried; it is shaped like a saj, this concave-shaped oven that sits on many street corners in Beirut these days; it is filled with fried onions and walnuts and spiced with hot chili pepper and pomegranate molasses. Served with some muhammara dip on the side.
A traditional saj being heated with a branch in Deir el-Qamar, Chouf
The basic recipe is a kibbeh shell made up of lean ground meat (veal, lamb or beef or a mixture), a small grated onion and a cup of fine bulgur. Click here for the recipe.
The filling consists of the following:
- 2 cups of chopped onions
- 2 cups of chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp of hot red pepper paste (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses
- salt, pepper, to taste
- olive oil as needed
- Fry the onions and when the onions are golden, add the walnuts and fry till slightly toasted and fragrant. Add the hot pepper paste and the pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine well. Set aside to cool a bit.
- Roll out the kibbeh dough between two sheets of wax paper as if you are cutting cookies and cut into round shapes with the cookie cutter. Place a square piece of plastic or wax paper on the can and set the kibbeh round on it. Place about one tablespoon of filling on it and cover with the top round of kibbeh. Cover the kibbeh with the piece of paper or plastic and pat it gently to seal it and shape it into a saj. Set on a greased pan; fill the pan and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the kibbeh are thoroughly cooked; serve with muhammara sauce on the side if desired.