The idea of making tiny balls of kibbe is borrowed from an Armenian vegetarian cookbook I have been reading; several recipes mentions a base of bulgur balls smaller than cherries, mixed with various sauces; I mixed mine with the bounty of the garden: eggplant, onions and tomatoes with a dash of hot red pepper paste and lots of mashed garlic.
Eat this dish lukewarm or at room temperature; on top of a rustic bread like this mishtah, a bulgur and whole-grain flatbread from the South of Lebanon, or by itself.
- 250 g or 1/4 pound ground meat, preferably lamb or veal, removed of all fat
- 1 cup of fine bulgur (#1)
- 1/2 cup of semolina flour (optional, can replace with wheat flour)
- 1 small onion, grated (for balls) and 2 large onions for the eggplant sauce
- Spices for the kibbeh balls: salt, pepper, a dash of allspice and cinnamon and a good pinch of paprika or cumin
- 6 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt in a mortar
- 1 pound of eggplant, peeled and cut in dice
- 1 pound of tomatoes, peeled and seeded and cut in dice
- 1 tablespoon of hot red pepper paste
- olive oil, as needed
- chopped parsley to garnish
Prepare the kibbeh balls first:
- In a food processor, puree the onion; add the bulgur and spices and mix; add the semolina and mix; add the meat and mix until the mixture is homogenous and smooth, a few minutes.
- Form into tiny balls the size of cherries or larger balls depending on your time and preference.
- Boil some salted water and drop the balls in it; boil a few minutes until they come to the surface and using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside in a bowl.
Prepare the eggplant sauce:
- Heat a generous amount of olive oil; add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are translucent (cover the pan to speed up the process); add the eggplant pieces and fry adding more oil if needed until the eggplant and the onions are golden.
- Add the tomatoes, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes simmering the sauce gently; add the kibbeh balls, the mashed red pepper paste, the mashed garlic and simmer for 10 more minutes; taste to adjust the seasoning, cool and serve at room temperature or warm.
30 Comments • Comments Feed