Thanks to everyone who came along to the fantastic ‘E17 Cook Book Club’ in September at The Bell pub. It was Syrian Night, with £100 raised for the Syrian Supper Club – Hands Up Foundation.
My really simple recipe from Syrian Night was Kibbeh al-hammam (Bulgar and tomato kibbeh). This is a Syrian Aleppo meze dish taken from the cook book:
‘Seductive flavours of the Levant – traditional home cooking from Lebanon, Syrian and Turkey’ by Nada Saleh
140g onion, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoons tomato puree
170g fine bulgar wheat (in any of the Turkish shops)
1/2 – 1 Teaspoons salt to taste
4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 Tablespoons pomegranate syrup (molasses) again look in the Turkish shops
Handful of parsley, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
Seeds of 1/2 fresh pomegranate
Combine the onions, salt, olive oil, pomegranate syrup and tomato puree in a large bowl.
Add the bulgar to the bowl (but don’t stir). Sprinkle the bulgar with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Add the chopped tomatoes on top. Now the messy bit, get your hands in and knead until all the ingredients are fully mixed together. Transfer to a serving dish, smooth it out and decorate with the spring onions, parsley and pomegranate seeds. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with lettuce leaves or bread to scoop it up.
It will last up to 3 days as a meze salad from the fridge, you can add crumbled feta or grilled halloumi if you like, or stir some through yoghurt to make a tomato dip.