This baked Kebbeh recipe involves less drama than the original version. Lebanese food has a lot of vegetarian and vegan friendly recipes and this stands true for kebbeh as well. Vegan or vegetarian Kebbeh is nothing new, there are dozens of variations: the potato one, pumpkin one, lentil one, tomato, etc... my favorite version is still the meat loaded one. As I try to balance my family’s diet and daily meals I always plan for vegetarian menus at least three days per week. I needed a baked vegan kebbeh version so I created one to my liking! Two layers of potato Kebbeh hugging a caramelized onion and walnut filling.
The post solicited a positive feedback when I shared the picture and idea on social media. As I mentioned in the Newsletter “Back to Basics” sent on October 6th, 2018: I love making all the enthusiastic readers happy! ;)
The kebbeh recipe might seem overwhelming but it has technically 2 major steps: the filling and the potato mixture preparation. You can prepare the filling one day in advance.
I hope you like this meatless version. Let me know if you have questions or need help. I can’t travel to cook for you but I can answer all your questions! Leave a comment below or send a message :)
Baked Potato Kebbeh
Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, sliced in half-moons
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup walnut bits
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Prep all the ingredients.
You will need one large frying pan.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize. It will take some patience. Mix from time to time to make sure the caramelization is homogeneous. Once the onions color start to turn to light golden add the walnut and season with all spice and ground coriander. Keep mixing every other minute until the onions are completely soft and caramelized. Taste and correct seasoning. Set aside.
2 lb (1 kg) potato, peeled, rinsed and chopped into small cubes.
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups super fine bulgur (around 1 lb / 450 g)
1 cup onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Prep all the ingredients.
You will need one large pot, 1 big bowl, 1 extra large bowl (for mixing by hand the last stage of the kebbeh process), a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, food safe gloves, and a round baking pan (diameter: 11 inch / 28cm).
In a large pot, place the cubes potatoes and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes cook completely until super soft. Drain the potatoes. Discard the water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, put the bulgur then add room temperature water. The water level should cover the bulgur by ½ inch max (around 1cm). Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulverize one cup of chopped onions with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice and 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander. Add the cooked potatoes and pulverize again. Add half of the soaked bulgur mixture and mix until the texture is super smooth and very well combined. You might need to open the food processor bowl and scrap the sides to make sure everything is well incorporated (be careful not to hurt yourself with the blade!). Transfer the potato bulgur mixture to a very large bowl. To that add the remaining amount of soaked bulgur, plus 1/4 teaspoon of each: sea salt, ground coriander and ground allspice. Using food safe gloves, mix by hand until all is very well combined.
Your potato kebbeh mixture is ready.
Have a small bowl of water and 3 to 4 ice cubes ready.
Layering the kebbeh involves 6 steps:
1. Lightly oil the pan using just a few drop of vegetable oil.
2. Spread a layer of the mixed potato kebbeh to the thickness of your liking, smoothing and leveling it by wetting your hand with cold water. (I would advise you to roughly divide the kebbeh mixture in two equal parts. One for each layer needed: bottom + top)
3. Add the caramelized onion filling, making sure it covers the whole surface of the first layer of kebbeh and press well the filling on the first layer of kebbeh. It will help the consistency of the final baked product.
4. Spread another layer of potato bulgur mixture on top of the filling. The second layer should, of course, entirely cover the filling layer. Again, smooth and level it by wetting your hand with cold water.
5. Using a knife, you can make the “kebbeh diamond shape design” or any of your choice but make sure you cut through the layers reaching to the bottom of the pan. It will help your final product. I made a visual recipe about the diamond / star kebbeh shape. Click here! It will help :))
6. With your finger, make a whole in the center of the kebbeh pan.
Add a little bit of vegetable oil over the prepared kebbeh before baking.
Bake at 400F (200C) for 45 minutes (more or less), until the edges start to crisp up.
Drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on the top of the kebbeh. It will give flavor and keep the kebbeh moist. Let it rest a few minutes before serving.
Serve hot or warm with a crisp green salad.
*If you have potato bulgur mixture leftovers you can make mini kebbeh balls and fry them or bake them in a hot oven.