|Image by Chris Mejorada for CPI Publishing|
Ramadan Kareem! During this holy month, each and every one of us has their own way of giving back, and I can only hope we all contribute in small ways to make the world a better place.. I'm saying this today because I have been stuck to the news in Syria. Even though I didn't grow up in Damascus, both my parents did and most of my family still lives there today.. And even though I have somewhat of a pleasant identity crisis, I am Syrian, so the scenes are extremely disturbing for my family. I can only hope that the country finds the freedom and peace it deserves after all these years.
I want to dedicate this post to my parents. My father left Syria when he was seventeen, looking for a brighter future. He went for a visit back home and met my mother through his darling sister Mimi. They got married and moved together to Mannheim, Germany. When I was a toddler, we moved to Paris, where I grew up until I went to university in New York.
Having lived abroad, my parents made sure to take us to Syria to visit family whenever possible. They missed their families, but also didn't want us to loose our bond with loved ones. I have plenty of vivid memories with my grannies, uncles, aunts, cousins and childhood friends. So I really have to give it to my parents, they did a pretty good job of giving us the best the West had to offer yet never confusing us about one thing - where we were from.
My mom makes this dish frequently, so I made it for a special feature on Ramadan in the current BBC Good Food ME issue.
- 300g minced lean lamb
- 300g minced lean beef
- 2/3 cups bulgur
- 4 large onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp all spice
- 2 tsp sumac
- Olive oil
- Salt and cracked pepper to taste
- 1 red cabbage, cut into thin slices
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
In a large pan, heat a little olive oil and cook half the onions until translucent then add the minced lamb, and half the spices mentioned in the recipe. Add the pine nuts and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until the lamb is cooked. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, let the bulgur soak for about 30 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the minced beef with the remaining onion and spices, then add the bulgur, and mix well with your hands.
In a baking tray, add half the minced meat mixture, and spread it evenly on the bottom. Add the lamb filling, and top with the remaining meat mixture. Smooth out the surface, sprinkle with a little olive oil and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper, then toss with the shredded cabbage. Serve with a slice of kibbeh and a dollop of yoghurt. Sahteen!