Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pumpkin Kibbeh Pie

Pumpkin kibbeh....note the kale filling
Kibbeh is usually a dish of minced meat mixed with bulgur and spices. Sometimes served raw, most often served cooked. It is a very popular dish in the middle east and is sometimes considered the national dish of Lebanon. In its most common form, it consists of minced lamb mixed with bulgur and spices, and is grilled, boiled, fried or baked. The shape, size and ingredients vary between different types of kibbeh and between the recipes that are traditional in different areas.  In the mountain area of Lebanon they make a Pumpkin Kibbeh.  I remember as a child my grandmother would make them into patties and fry them. We would stand close by, waiting for my grandmother to take them out of the pan and cool them. They were such a treat. My mother and I tried for years to duplicate my grandmothers recipe and finally....success! However, last year while I was browsing my favorite middle eastern blog  Taste of Beirut, I found a wonderful pumpkin Kibbeh that was posted by Joumana.   Although different than my grandmothers, it looked absolutely delicious!  I had to give it a try.  You can find her recipe here.  I also posted it below. Do yourself a favor and visit her very creative wonderful blog. Her site is full of interesting, healthy and delicious Middle Eastern food.  

Cooking the kale with chick peas and caramelized onions
Pumpkin and bulgur wheat mixed together with rest of ingredients 
Pumpkin mixture pressed into pan...layered with kale mixture...then topped with final layer of pumpkin mixture
baked and cut
Pumpkin Kibbeh Pie
1 pound of turnip greens or any other green I used kale
2 large onions, chopped, and divided in half
1 can of chick peas
3 tablespoons of sumac
1/3 cup of pine nuts
3.5 pounds pumpkin...equal to almost 2 pounds of cooked pumpkin...I used about 6 cups
1 1/2 cups of fine bulgur #1
2 slices of American-style white bread (or any soft bread)
2 eggs (optional)
Spices for the kibbeh: 2 teaspoons of Aleppo pepper (or paprika or chili powder),1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, salt, white pepper
clarified butter or olive oil or any other oil, as needed

Cook the pumpkin till soft (either in the oven or steam); peel, and mash the pumpkin flesh in a processor. Place in a large sieve and drain for several hours or overnight.

Make the filling: 
Steam the greens until soft and drain them well. Stir-fry the onions in some olive oil till caramelized. Add the drained can of chick peas and about one cup of caramelized onions to the greens in a bowl. Sprinkle with sumac and some white pepper, taste to adjust seasonings and set aside. (One can also add some pine nuts, previously roasted).
Take the drained pumpkin and place in a large bowl. Rinse the bulgur in a bowl a couple of times and let it sit till soft a couple of minutes. Drain the bulgur and press to remove all water from it. Add to the bowl with the pumpkin and the chopped onion.
Add the fresh breadcrumbs, the eggs, the spices and mix well. Taste to adjust the seasoning. 
Grease a 10X2 inch pan and place half the kibbeh batter all over the pan. Add the filling on top, using a plastic sheet to help spread it evenly. Cover with the other half of kibbeh, smoothing it out with a spatula.
Score the kibbeh with a knife, forming two diagonal lines. Decorate with pine nuts if you like and cover with a few knobs of butter or brush with some oil. Bake in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. I've never heard of kibbeh before, but I'd be willing to sample a slice or two of yours! It looks like a delicious creation~

  2. Kathy - I am absolutely intrigued by this one. I have been dipping my toe into Middle Eastern cooking & am always interested in the different combinations since it is way outside of what I am used to .

    This looks great.

  3. Kathy-your Kibbeh looks so incredibly good, and healthy!
    I happen to have all these ingredients on hand and are willing to try this recipe. It's always much easier to try a new recipe when there's step-by-step instructions, such as yours and mine!
    Wishing you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

  4. This looks so very delicious - and healthy for you! I hope you have a very wonderful New Year, Kathy!

  5. Happy New Year Kathy! This does look just amazingly delicious and healthy for all of our new healthy eating resolutions;-)

  6. Never heard of this dish, but it looks tasty. Happy new year!

  7. What a great recipe my aunt married into a Lebanese family loved stuffed Lisa grew their own seeds
    .. love the 7 spices I am going to love your recipes here. Happy new year!

  8. I saw this on Taste of Beirut and noted it - thanks for the delicious reminder - yours also entices. And it will be fun for me to have new cuisine on the table in 2012. Happy New Year - may 2012 bring joys.

  9. This pie looks such a wonderful way to start off the New Year - healthy and really delicious
    All the best for 2012!
    Mary x

  10. I love the texture it seems so crunchy and delicious

  11. This dish is so intriguing with such a wonderful blend of flavors!

    I've awarded you the "Liebster Blog" award! Please stop by to "pick it up" and pass it on!

    Happy New Year, Kathy! Looking forward to another year of cooking with you! xoxo

  12. This looks delicious! Since moving to europe I have had to go without Mexican food (very sad) but have far more access to good Middle Eastern food. I've discovered all kinds of new and tasty dishes, though I have yet to come across this one.

  13. I made your recipe and blogged about it. I hope that is all right, the link to here is included.

    1. I am so happy you chose to make this. Hope you enjoyed it!