Wednesday, December 19, 2012

272. Beetroot Kubba

Legend has it that Halab, the Syrian city most notorious for its kubba, has a thousand variations of kubba in its repertoire.
One thousand.
And I believe it, too.
I am not striving to cover each of these thousand kubba, but since I do harbor a particular soft spot for anything kubba, I cannot pass the opportunity of learning a new recipe.

This beetroot kubba is not a vegetarian one, since it encrusts a meat filling.
I do, however have plans to post a vegetarian kubba at some point.
The meat filling contains zarshk, which is an intensely sour dried berry of some sort (berberis). Its culinary uses are similar to using citrus zest.
The fried crispiness, the sweetness from the beetroot (and amazing color, subhanallah!), the tanginess from the zarshk, and the savoriness from the rice and meat make this kubba a standout.
It is recommended to be served alongside some plain yogurt.
Adapted from Senses 2.

Ingredients: (for 40 kubba)

For the crust:
2 cups rice
4 medium beetroot
2 medium potato
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 vegetable stock cubes
6 cups water

For the filling:
500g minced meat
1 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbsp zarshk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Picture taken with flash...
...and without flash.

Fried kubba.

Make the filling first:
Saute the meat until browned, add the onion and stir until transparent.
Add the spices and seasonings, stir until fragrant.
Remove from heat, let cool a bit, stir in the parsley and the zarshk; set aside.

To make the crust:
Wash the rice and let soak for half an hour.
Meanwhile, peel and cube the beetroot and the potatoes.
Boil the beetroot and potatoes in the six cubs of water and two stock cubes for half an hour.
Drain the beetroot and the potatoes, reserving the boiling water.
Set the beetroot and potatoes aside.
Return the reserved boiling water to the same pot and bring again to the boil.
Add the drained rice to the boiling beet water and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
Drain the rice, discard the remaining water.
Mix the rice with the beetroot and potato, add salt and turmeric.
Let cool a bit then push twice through a meat mince machine (or blitz in a food processor if you don't have a meat mincer).
Knead by hand to homogenize the dough.

To make the kubba, it is easier to lightly wet the palm of your hands with water.
Take a walnut-sized ball of dough and flatten it on your palm, keeping the piece intact.
Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the center of the dough .
Begin to close the edges around the filling to securely seal it in.
Shape the ball into a disc shape.
At this stage you make place the kubba evenly spaced in a tray covered with cling film and freeze for future use.
To cook, fry the fresh or frozen kubba in hot oil, drain on a paper towel.
Serve alongside a simple yogurt dip.

Other Kubbas:
Kubba Halab
Kubba Burghul
Lentil Kubba
Rice Kubba
Semolina Kubba
Potato Chap
Kibbe Bil-Siniyeh (Tray Kubba)
Iraqi Dill Kubba

 صحة و عافية


Anonymous said...

very nice..they look exquisite ,,have to try this..they hold together well without burghul? ty nadia

Maryam said...

Thank you Nadia!
They held very well without any trouble at all.
Jut remember to wet your hands with water as they tend to stick.
Let me know how it comes out!