Kubbe Sunniya

Like most Palestinian dishes, kubbe can be made to be a simpler week night supper by making it in a tray instead of individual pieces.  This is great as it means that we can get that delicious taste all year round instead of just Christmas and Easter which is when we normally make Kubbe.

My Husband, Christo, loves this meal and refers to it as a Palestinian Pie, which I suppose it is.

I have never been much good at cutting and decorating the kubbe sunniya, but I love to give it a good go, making flowers and shapes with roasted pine nuts and almonds.   My Aunt makes the most beautiful kubbe sunniya, with stunning geometric shapes and nuts, serving ten people at the end of the day.

When I was very young and I wanted to help my mother to cook this dish, she would sit me down with a tray of the bulghar wheat to patiently work through removing all bad bits- little stones, twigs etc.  In the UK now it’s hard to imagine having to do that as food quality is more standardised.

Try cooking this instead of your regular Sunday roast and serve with a Palestinian salad and yogurt.  I also have this vegan Aubergine and Olive Kubbe option, which was popular with Palestinians who moved to areas where beef was harder to find.

ingredients

for ‘crust’:

500g ground beef

2 cups bulghar wheat

1 onion

1 teaspoon of mixed spices

 

for filling:

500g ground beef

1 large onion

1 tablespoon allspice

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ table spoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Extra virgin olive oil

1 handful of pinenuts, toasted

 

decoration:

handful of skinless almonds and pine nuts

 

method

prepare the ‘crust’:

  1. soak the burghul for 30 minutes in cold water
  2. push it through a grinder with the beef, onion
  3. add olive oil, salt and pepper and the mixed spice

 

prepare the beef filling:

  1. fry the onions in olive oil until soft
  2. add the beef and spices and cook until brown and dried out
  3. mix in the pine nuts into the beef mixture and set aside

 

Assemble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. Grease an oven-proof dish with olive oil
  3. Spread half the crust mixture onto the bottom of the pan and spread out across the whole base with your hands
  4. Add all the cooked beef mixture and spread evenly touching all sides
  5. Put the rest of the crust on top and smooth out evenly
  6. Using a knife cut lines (all the way down) then turn the page and go in the opposite direction to make squares, diamonds etc.
  7. Add almonds and pine nuts to each square to decorate
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden.

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