Pumpkin Kibbeh

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus refrigeration
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 to 6

 

This popular vegan version of kibbeh was initially created to be eaten during Lent.

1kg pumpkin, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 onion, quartered
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin

1 tsp allspice
330g fine burghul, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp plain flour 3 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste

For the stuffing

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tsp allspice
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
3⁄4 bunch fresh spinach
1 tsp cumin
60g walnuts, coarsely chopped
60g golden raisins
1 – 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
45ml olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Place the pumpkin and 125ml water in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cover for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and boil for 40 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pumpkin in a colander and set aside for 20 minutes. Using a vegetable masher or the back of a spoon, press the pumpkin to extract all the liquid. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

Process the onion with the allspice, cinnamon, cumin and salt in a food processor until finely chopped.

Add the onion mixture, burghul and flour to the pumpkin and mix them by hand until they become a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the stuffing, heat the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over low heat. Add the onion, allspice and cinnamon, and fry until the onion is translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring continuously until it is wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and stir to combine. Toss in the walnuts and raisins, then stir in the pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.