Tomato kibbeh

February 17, 2012  •  Category:

Take a deep breath and relax; this kibbeh does not require any special skill, or a relative from the Middle-East for guidance. It is easy to make and tastes so good that you will find the plate emptied  in minutes. 

Bulgur, lots of tomatoes and onions, a dash of hot red pepper and coriander. The tomatoes need to be very ripe and since it is not specifically tomato season,  a can of the best Italian tomatoes will do just fine.

Recipe for tomato kibbeh is provided courtesy of Asma Zeito

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 1 cup of fine bulgur (#1), preferably the white kind
  • 4 tomatoes or 1 large can of good-quality tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste (optional, but highly recommended if the tomatoes are bland or mealy)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp of hot chili powder or hot Aleppo pepper or 1 tbsp of hot red pepper paste
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil, as needed
  1. Heat a generous amount of oil (at least 1/4 cup); fry the onions until golden. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato juice and simmer for about 35 minutes. Add the spices and taste to adjust seasoning. You should have about 3 cups of liquid (or purée) at this point, if not add some water. Pour the bulgur onto the sauce, cover and let the bulgur absorb the sauce for 30 minutes or longer. 
  2. To shape the kibbeh: Transfer to a food processor and process for a few seconds until a paste is formed. This step can easily be done by hand, by using the palms of the hand and rubbing the bulgur until a rough paste is formed (like a play dough!). Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and shape into oblong balls (or any shape, really). Serve at room temperature.
NOTE: The key here is to have a really good sauce to soak the bulgur in. If the tomatoes are bland, add some tomato paste, sundried tomatoes, anything, to give the sauce intense tomato flavor.
I sometimes don’t bother with shaping the kibbeh and eat this straight, as is; the flavor is not affected, the presentation is, well, less elegant!


28 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. T.W. Barritt says:

    Looks excellent – at first I had wondered if they might be fried like falafel.

  2. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Wow! Looks yummy. How did you come up with this one?

  3. Rosa says:

    Delicious, I’m sure!



  4. heguberto says:

    Can’t wait to try this out, love this idea. The tomatoes don’t look good right now on this side of the planet. Can’t wait for the wether to firm up a bit so more vegetables arrive in the markets. Will this work with canned tomatoes?


  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    You make it look easy and beautiful! Not sure I can do these justice, but I’m going to certainly try.

  6. Kiran @ KiranTarun.c says:

    I love bulgur, and this is the perfect recipe to use up some of what is left in my pantry! Thanks for sharing and have a happy weekend 🙂

  7. Claudia says:

    Love this combination – and a flavorful way to use winter tomatoes.

  8. Sarah says:

    What a nice variation! I love the combination of flavors and plan to try this soon!

  9. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    So easy, pretty, and healthy! What a great dish – I have to try ASAP!

  10. bergamot says:

    Looks delicious. I have some fine bulgur in my pantry waiting for good inspiration. Gonna try this….

  11. Cherine says:

    That’s interesting! U always amaze us withbur new creations!

  12. PJ says:

    Never tried kebabs with tomato.Looks very easy and the click is awesome..

  13. Jamie says:

    Mmmm anything tomato, really, but this is a delicious and unsual (for us) way of serving them. They do look so good (and I must admit I thought they were fried as well). I always discover such great ideas and great food on your blog!

  14. Kale Crusaders says:

    So excited to try out this recipe–so bold and simple. Thanks for the recipe, Joumana!

  15. lisaiscooking says:

    What a great version of kibbeh! The hot pepper flavor sounds fantastic in them. I want to try these.

  16. Oui, Chef says:

    Who knew there were so many different types of kibbeh to be made? Every time I visit you’ve made a new one! Lovely.

  17. coleen says:

    These look very yummy. How far in advance can you make these? If they keep a few days, I can see them being perfect to make before company comes.

  18. Louis says:

    Joumana, I abolutely love your recipes! Wonder if you can suggest a substitute for burghol that is gluten free. Now that would make my life easier! Thanks in advance!

  19. Nuts about food says:

    Very interesting version you give us here, will be sure to try it.

  20. Caffettiera says:

    Food for my kibbeh obsession here, and an easy one too. I’ll probably blend in some sun-dried tomatoes in this corner of the world as you suggest.

  21. Needful Things says:

    What an intriguing flavor combination and I love that it uses burghal – something that I am using a *lot* of these past weeks & really love. However, I have the coarse, red kind. Would this work equally as well with that?

    • Joumana says:

      @Needful things: the coarse kind would work but it would be a bit difficult to shape it into balls; you could eat it as is.

    • John says:

      If I only have medium or coarse burghul in the larder and I need some fine stuff, I simply give it a very quick whizz in the electric coffee grinder I keep for spices. NB if you want to try this idea, test with a little bit of burghul first to see how quickly your grinder reduces it. It really only takes a couple of super fast pulses on mine and it’s done.

      • Joumana says:

        @John: I am sure scores of ladies in the olden days would have enjoyed using your coffee grinder instead of the bulgur mill made out of heavy stone that they used.

  22. Helen says:

    I got this website from my buddy who shared with me concerning this website and now this time
    I am browsing this website and reading very informative articles here.

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