Kibbeh is one of many middle-eastern foods Brazilians love. It is normally made with ground beef (and bulgur) and it can be baked like a pie or shaped into fritters and deep-fried. I love making this vegetarian version of baked kibbeh. Instead of meat, I use potatoes to bind the pie and ricotta cheese to keep it moist. There are numerous variations of kibbeh found in Brazil, you can make a cheese filling, you can make it with sweet potatoes, there is even fish kibbeh, if you want to be really unconventional. To me, there are two flavours that I need to taste on a kibbeh: limes and mint. The combination of white and black pepper and cinnamon completes this dish. The kibbeh tastes even better with a squeeze of fresh lime .
Vegetarian Baked Kibbeh Recipe:
makes 1 9x13 inch pie
You will need:
500 grams of bulgur wheat
500 grams of potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 onion, shredded (use the large wholes of a box grater)
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
lime wedges, to serve
Soak the bulgur in cold water for 1 hour.
While the bulgur is soaking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender. Drain, let cool and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the bulgur and squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, the bulgur and all the other ingredients. Mix well.
Coat a 9 x 10 inch baking dish with oil or butter. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. If you like to, make a diamond shape pattern by crossing the top a toothpick.
Bake until set and golden, about 45 minutes.
Let it cool before cutting into slices. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime.