Hailing from the Middle East, kibbeh are a traditional sharing snack with a wonderfully spiced lamb mince filling and a brilliantly crisp bulgur wheat crumb. Plate up a platter for your guests to devour alongside a creamy tahini and pomegranate dip for dunking.
- Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl and just cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes, then drain really well, squeezing out the excess water. Transfer to a food processor along with the mince, spices and some seasoning. Whizz until smooth, adding a little cold water to help it combine. Set aside while you make the filling.
- Heat 1 tsp groundnut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and the chopped onion and cook until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and cook for 1 minute, before adding the lamb. Cook until browned, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool a little.
- In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon zest and juice, tahini, half of the pomegranate seeds and some salt and pepper.
- Wet your hands and shape the raw lamb and bulgur mixture into 18 balls. Using your index finger, make a deep hole down the centre of each ball to make a pocket for the filling. Stuff each ball with a spoonful of lamb filling, then press down to encase it. Reshape into a smooth egg shape with a pointed top and bottom.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Heat 3 tbsp groundnut oil in a frying pan and cook the kibbeh for 8-10 minutes, in batches, turning often, until they are golden brown and cooked through with no pink meat showing. Drain on kitchen paper, then keep them warm on a baking tray in the oven while you finish cooking the rest, changing the oil in between batches. Put the kibbeh on a platter with the yogurt dip, lemon wedges and mint leaves (if using). Sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds to serve.
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