If you’ve ever heard of the arab finger food kubba or kibbeh, you know what a delicious, fried, spiced meat treat those can be with a side of hummus or baba ghanouj. They are crusted in burghul and perfectly fried to browned perfection. They’re a staple in any middle eastern gathering.
Some people in the Middle East also eat a completely raw version which is essentially beef tartare. That beef tartare dish is called kubba neeya.
This recipe is the vegan version of kubba neeya that I grew up with; no meat or animal products whatsoever.
5 cups water
1 cup lentils
Cumin, salt, black pepper to taste
1 cup fine or medium burghul
1 bunch finely chopped parsley
1 bunch chopped green onion
Optional: chili paste for spiciness
1) Bring to boil 5 cups water and 1 cup lentils. Add cumin, black pepper and salt to taste.
2.) Lower heat to low and simmer until lentils are completely cooked. It should take 40 minutes in a regular pot on the stove or 20-35 minutes in the instant pot on pressure cook setting.
3.) Once lentils are cooked, add 1 cup of fine or medium burghul and stir well to dissolve any clumps.
4.) Cover the pot and turn off heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes then come back and stir it around again.
5.) Check if burghul is cooked. If burghul is still crunchy and liquid is all gone, boil some more water and add in about 1/4 of a cup and a time. Mix and cover and let sit for a bit. No heat.
6.) If burghul is cooked but still too soupy then turn heat on lowest setting,uncover and let the water cook out.
7.) Chop 1 bunch of green onions and half a bunch of flat leaf parsley. In half a cup of olive oil wilt both together reserving a few tbsp of each. Mix into kubba niya mixture plus the reserved unwilted part. Allow to cool and then shape into football shapes before serve. If you don’t feel like shaping it into small football shaped pieces, you can also spread some out onto a plate and drizzle some olive oil for aesthetic purposes.
OPTIONAL: If you like cooked onion, you can also caramalize a small chopped yellow or white onion and add it to the kubba neeya.
If you like spicier food, you can add some chili paste to kick it up a notch. I added some chili paste for spiciness and chili powder for added color to the left piece in the picture.