Pumpkin kibbeh

PHOTO: SIMON LAMBERT
PHOTO: SIMON LAMBERT
Don’t be worried by the title - these delicious morsels are well worth the effort. 
 
Pumpkins and butternuts are such great value and their sweet flavour and creamy texture works perfectly alongside the bulgur wheat.
 

 

Makes 12-15

200g fine bulgur wheat, soaked in tepid water for 1 hour or until tender

300g pumpkin or butternut, peeled, deseeded, cut into chunks

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1-2 Tbsp flour (approx)

Filling

1 Tbsp oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

½ tsp salt

cracked black pepper

1 tsp sumac

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

oil for frying

Optional

1 Tbsp sour cherries or raisins, soaked in hot water

Method

Drain the bulgur wheat. Now tip the wheat into the centre of a clean tea towel, bring up the edges to encase the wheat. Rub it a bit to break up any lumps and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to dry out.

Place the prepared pumpkin in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer the pumpkin until tender (not mushy). Drain.

Place the pumpkin in a large bowl and mash.

Add the wheat and mix together (I use my hands for this so I can squash it together). Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour so that the bulgur wheat absorbs the moisture from the pumpkin.

Add the spices, salt and 1 tablespoon of the flour to the pumpkin and bulgur mixture. Combine well so that the mixture when held together holds its shape, you almost need to knead it so it binds together.

To make the filling

Add the oil to a pan and add the sliced onions. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are soft and sweet. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sumac, sour cherries and parsley and stir to combine. Set aside.

To shape the kibbeh for cooking

Place three bowls on the bench. Fill one with water to dampen your hands, one with the pumpkin/bulgur mix and the last with the filling.

Dampen your hands and take a spoonful of the pumpkin mixture and place in the palm of your hand. Press your thumb into the centre to make a deep indent. Add a teaspoon of filling and carefully but firmly press the pumpkin mix around the filling. Then gently roll it in your hands so that it is tidy and pressed together firmly into a small torpedo shape (5-7cm long) with pointed ends. Continue until the mixture is used.

To cook

Pour 3cm-4cm of oil into a large heavy-based deep-sided fry pan. Heat the oil to 180degC. Cook the kibbeh in batches until brown and crispy, remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, if you desire.

 

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