This is a very rustic kibbeh found in the villages; I became acquainted with it when I lived in the Chouf Mountains and befriended local farmers like Oum Elias. She used potatoes, onions and walnuts from her field to make a similar pie, and would take portions of it to her husband and his fellow helpers who worked the land nearby. I never had it growing-up in Beirut, where our grandmother only made the classic meat kibbeh with ground lamb. In the villages, this pie is called kibbet al-batata.
Another very popular vegan kibbeh pie I discovered while living in the Chouf Mountains is the pumpkin kibbeh pie. This is another quintessential rural kibbeh pie from the rural villages, using locally grown pumpkins; it is especially consumed during fasting days.
Potato kibbeh pieJoumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern June 24, 2021 Whole Grain/Bulgur/Rice, Vegan, bulgur #1, potato kibbe, mashed potatoes, walnuts, caramelized onions, pomegranate molasses,
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
2 cups brown bulgur (#1 extra-fine)
1 medium onion, grated
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground allspice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mint powder (or more, to taste)
5 medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 medium onions, sliced (about 1 1/2 lb) into rings
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
To glaze the crust: 1/2 cup or more melted clarified butter or olive oil
Make the filling first:
- Pan-fry the onion slices with the sugar till the onion is browned and add the walnuts and spices along the way to toast the walnuts as well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
To make the dough:
- Soak the bulgur in water for 5 minutes, drain well, pressing to extract most of the water. Transfer to a food processor, add the grated onion and the spices and mix.
- Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain and peel and mash them while still hot; add the potato meal to the food processor and mix the kibbeh dough for a few seconds, scraping the bowl a few times, until the dough is homogenous. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 9" or 10" round pan and spread half the kibbeh dough, patting it with fingers dipped in a bowl of ice water, to make it as even as possible. Spread the filling over the layer. To spread the remaining dough, roll it out on a piece of oiled wax paper and flip it over on the filling and remove the paper. Pat it with moistened fingers here and there to seal it. Score the kibbeh pie if desired into quarters and losanges. Make a hole in the middle with a wooden spoon. Pour the oil or butter all over the pie.
- Bake for 15 minute or so, until the kibbeh takes on a golden color. Serve at room temperature or warm.
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