People are always asking me, “What is Kibbeh? Do you really eat raw meat?”
Yes, Kibbeh is traditionally made with raw meat ground up mixed with bulgar and kammouni seasoning. I grew up eating the raw meat version, but as I got older I began to like the many vegetarian versions. As a child, I never questioned what my parents made for food, so eating raw meat or stuffed stomach lining of a cow was never an issue.
As I got older, I began to make more of the vegetarian dishes shared in my childhood, such as Lentil Kibbeh. I do crave the raw meat version, but having this vegan version gives me the same pack of flavor with extra health benefits.
I remember one year we went camping and everyone went to their tents to make a dish to bring back for a potluck. I immediately started my red lentil kibbeh. It’s perfect for the summer time because you can make it and pack it for any
lunch, picnic or any occasion. And it can be served with any salad.
As people began to eat my contribution to the potluck, I was amazed at how some never heard of it while others believed they were eating the meat version. After that day, I won over many meat lovers into liking my vegan masterpiece.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She shared with me memories of when she lived in Kafarhouna Lebanon. In the winter months, meat was not always available so they got creative and used legumes and grains in substitution for meat. It was during those cold winters that some of the most amazing dishes were created. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to watch my grandmother cook these dishes for the family. My love for cooking started with her and continues to grow each day.
Back to this amazing dish – it’s one that the more you make it, the more you will learn to adjust your seasoning. Below you will find a traditional recipe, but feel free to add more heat, cumin or onions.
Cooking is fun and I encourage you to enjoy the process and feed your soul through this amazing recipe for red lentil kibbeh!
2 cups red lentils (picked over)
2 cups diced onions
½ cup bulgar #1 (soak in 1 cup water before using)
½ cup bulgar #1
1 frozen red pepper
3 tbs Kammouni mixture
3 tbs olive oil
extra olive oil for dressing the top
Fresh tomatoes and mint for garnish
Kammouni spice blend
1 Tbs cumin seeds
5 edible rosebuds
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp dried mint
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
pinch of allspice
1. In a food processor, add frozen red pepper, jalapeno, half cup of bulgar and kammouni
seasoning. Pulse together until combine and set aside to add to the dish at the end.
2. In a medium size pot, bring 2 cups red lentils and 4 cups water to a simmer.
3. Cook lentils for 12-15 minutes until tender. Skim the foam off the lentil during this
4. Meanwhile, begin to cook the onion in 3 Tbs olive oil. This can be done while lentils are
boiling. Onions need to brown slightly, make sure they don’t get too dark because that
will change the taste of the dish. When they get a nice light brown, turn off flame until
lentils are cooked.
5. After onions are cooked and lentils are tender, combine onions to lentil, add soaked
bulgar and blended red pepper mixture done in step 1. Using a wooden spoon, mix until
combined. Lentils will turn into a creamy texture.
6. Cook for another 5 minutes stirring frequently. Adjust flavors by adding more
kammouni, salt and pepper if desired. Some people like to add a squeeze of lemon.
7. Transfer lentils to your serving dish and top with your choice of vegetables and olive oil.
8. This can be eating hot or cold with pita bread.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful recipe! For more inspiration, follow me at www.pattysfoodfare.com and start the journey of loving through food! You can also find me at:
From my house to yours, sahtein!