Potato Kibbeh

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For the month of February, one of the Blogging Marathon theme was ingredient swap. One of the ingredients I got was bulgur wheat from Pavani . I had prepared lentil kofte (or a version of it since I was short of all the supplies except bulgur :D), but I still had enough to try some other recipe.

A generic search for vegetarian bulgur recipes landed me on this page and I was absolutely taken in by their baked version of potato kibbeh.  With pictures as good as theirs and clear step wise instructions, it was almost a crime not to prepare it :-)). Though I made it long before, it has been staying in the drafts section for way too long. Since this month’s theme is protein rich foods and this recipe has bulgur, chickpea and spinach as sources, it time for this recipe to join the virtual world.

Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern dish prepared with bulgur and mostly meats. There are many variations to the dish right from shaping it to the method of cooking. It can be deep fried, baked or served raw and is shaped as a ball, patty or scored into diamond shapes. You can read more about this dish here.

Read on for the recipe and pictorial.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2.5 lbs) potatoes, cooked
  • 1 1/4 cups fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 big onion, sliced
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the bulgur in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the potatoes separately. Once its cooked, add to a bowl and mash well so that no lumps remain. Add the grated onion, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, parsley and drained bulgur. Mix well using your hands until everything is uniformly spread. It will come to the consistency of a dough finally.

For the filling, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Saute one big chopped onion and one each red and orange bell pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now add one cup of cooked chickpeas and 2 cups of spinach. I have used a small pack of frozen spinach here.

Add the bulgur to the potato mix and mix everything well. Divide this bulgur potato ‘dough’ into two parts. In a baking pan, spread one tablespoon of oil. Spread a layer of thinly sliced onions from one large onion.

Spread one half of the bulgur potato mix on top of the sliced onions. Spread all of the filling evenly on top of the bulgur mix.

Once you have covered the entire surface with the filling, add the rest of the bulgur dough evenly on top of the filling. Cover it completely.

Using a knife, score whatever patterns you want into the dough. The knife scoring go all the way down to the bottom of the dish. I cut it into wedges and then made not so deep circular patterns on top. Spread 1/4 cup of olive oil on top evenly and bake in a preheated oven for 40 -50 minutes at 400F. If the top is not browned at the end of that time, keep under broiler for a couple of minutes. Take off the oven and cut into slices once its cool enough to touch.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80



Paneer tikka pizza

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Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. Its exactly two years since me and my son came to the US. I wouldn’t have remembered the exact date if not for a friend’s birthday coinciding with it. So along with the black forest cake ( hurray for me! Successfully made it, finally!!) for the birthday girl, it gave me a reason to realize that years have flown off and I have survived well.

It wasn’t easy at the beginning. There is so much I still miss about home, especially my friends and family. But slowly you adapt and start appreciating the positives here. Now, I don’t feel the pain as much.

I miss a lot of things about home, but food is never a thing for me. But for the man, paneer tikka pizza is one of the things he misses. This is my trial at remembering the good old times. Nostalgia is a big flavor here, but the pizza recipe is a far cry from the original. Will come back here if I nail the recipe the way I remember it. Meanwhile check it out the way I made it this time.

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To about 1/4 cup thick yogurt, add the following masalas – salt, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or per taste), 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder), 1 teaspoon garam masala. Mix well. Chop 200 gms paneer into 1/2 inch cubes.

Add the paneer, along with one diced capsicum to the yogurt mix. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare the pizza base. Spread 2-3 tablespoon pizza sauce (ready made sauce here) and top it with the prepared paneer.

Add 1 to 1.5 cups of grated cheese and bake at 200C/400F for 20-25 minutes. Take off the oven. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices and serve. I added some more shredded cheese and chili flakes on top before serving.

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Simple veggie pizza

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They say it pours when it rains and that’s turned out to be true for pizzas at my place. Its ages since I made pizzas, but once I started there was no stopping me! Three pizzas out of the oven was thrilling indeed.

Since my pizza making skills are a little rusted, I was more happy that these came out decent than to worry to much about the imperfections. The yeast Gods weren’t that upset, so the bread part of it came out decent. I did over bake and produce a hard crust for the pizzas, but it was only the edge so no complaints there (well, there is, but let’s ignore it for the time being…and for the future as well! :D).

A simple saute of onions and capsicum was made for the third pizza and this is (was!) one of my oft repeated topping. Anyway, I still have some flour. I still have some yeast. And who knows! maybe more pizzas might come out of the oven.

Mind you, I told pizzas, not buns!!

To make the topping for a 9″ pizza, dice one medium onion and one medium capsicum into big pieces and saute them for a few minutes with salt and pepper. Prepare the pizza base and spread 2-3 tablespoon of pizza sauce(readymade) on top of it. Add the prepared veggie toppings and about 3/4 cup of cheese. Bake at 400F/200C for about 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the base is cooked.

Good topping additions would have been sauteed mushrooms, baby corn and olives.

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Koki

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It came as a shock to me that off the 30 plus recipes in my drafts folder, there are only a handful of wheat based recipes. Almost everything centers around rice. That was quite an eye opener for me! I needed to do some quick thinking as this week’s chosen theme for Blogging Marathon is wheat based dishes.

Whenever I am in doubt, I just go to Vaishali’s blog. She makes everything look simple and I always find myself willing to try her tasty, but easy to make recipes. Today’s trip ended with me trying the recipe for Koki from her space. I would have loved to try the recipe that uses up leftover rice, but looks like I should reduce my rice fixation a bit. Oh..Who am I kidding? I will try it some other time :D.

Koki is a healthier version of paratha and has a shelf life of couple of a days making it ideal for travel food. It can be made with onions and other masalas also, but that will impact the shelf life. The one here is a simple recipe with only black pepper in it for flavor.

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Add one cup wheat flour, 1 tablespoon ghee/oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt as needed. Mix with hands until it comes to a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle and add water (it took a little less than half cup for me) in small batches. Keep kneading until you get a stiff dough. Divide it into four equal balls.

Roll out the koki into thick chapati using a rolling pin. Use a little flour, if needed to prevent sticking. I didn’t need any. Score lightly with a knife in diamond pattern. Cook in a heated tawa.

Smear some ghee and flip over to cook both sides until golden spots appear. Serve with yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt as needed
  • ghee for smearing on koki while cooking

Method:

  1. Add one cup wheat flour, 1 tablespoon ghee/oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt as needed. Mix with hands until it comes to a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle and add water (it took a little less than half cup for me) in small batches. Keep kneading until you get a stiff dough.
  2. Divide it into four equal balls. Roll out the koki into thick chapati using a rolling pin. Use a little flour, if needed to prevent sticking. I didn’t need any. Score lightly with a knife in diamond pattern.
  3. Cook in a heated tawa. Smear some ghee and flip over to cook both sides until golden spots appear. Serve with yogurt.

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