Vegan Kibbeh Pie

Kibbeh is a wonderful dish of Lebanese origin that is popular throughout the Arab world. It combines bulgar, lamb or other meat with spices, and a luscious tahini dipping sauce or spread. Kibbeh pie is a non-traditional variation of this classic which combines the main ingredients in layers, a bit like a cake. According to my-secret-Jerusalemi-lover-man Yottam Ottolenghi, this is his spin on a popular dish on his hometown.

As I'm still working my way through the wonderful (*though not vegan) cookbook Jerusalem, this dish caught my eye as something that could be easily veganized- crumbled meat is one of the easiest things to approximate in vegetarian cooking, either through crumbled tempeh, soy curls, lentils, or vegan sausages. I used a sub from my local bio markt, some kind of tiny soy nugget that is often used for vegan bolognese sauce.

I haven't made this totally perfect yet- I think next time I'll use a mixture of faux meat and mushrooms to add a bit more flavor to the middle layer. When I have it totally perfected I'll post the full recipe, but for now let me give you a walk-through that could be easily replicated at home:

Layer 1: Circa 1 c. of prepared bulgar, mixed with a drizzle of olive oil, and a tablespoon or so of flour. You press this mixture into the bottom of a pan as if you were making a crust.

Layer 2: Your faux meat of choice browned on the stovetop with onions, garlic, and pine nuts, seasoned with a few pinches cinnamon, allspice, cumin and salt+pepper.

Layer 3: A thick, creamy tahini sauce that's merely tahini plus some lemon and a bit of water to make it pourable.

You cook the first two layers in the oven at around 375F until good and browned, then add the tahini sauce on top and cook again for another 10 minutes, until its starting to brown in some places. Top with parsley, sumac, and more pine nuts if ya got 'em. Serve with lemon slices.

This casserole would be a perfect thing to set out at a potluck or casual dinner party with a big fattoush salad on the side. As it is, it makes an easy and hearty dinner dish that is exotic yet homey.

Conveniently, you can watch Yottam Ottolenghi make his version in a video here.

Song of the Day: Shostakovitch- Waltz No. 2


Meg said...

Oh by the gods, I need this. I hope you perfect it soon!

Sarah Spitz said...

Hi there,

I'm an aspiring vegan and partly arab...therefore this dish gives me hope:-)

Have a nice day,



COTP said...

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