Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lamb Potato Cakes

I'm immensely fond of these and they're simple to make, even if the recipe does look terribly complicated. The end result, crisp on the outside, fluffy and hot on the inside with a sweet, spicy dip, is simply an absolute treat. It's a simple three-step: make the peach dip up, then the potato mixture and then the meat filling. Then it's just down to spooning filling into the potato to make the cakes. Simple!

These are a good old fashioned Arab favourite and, as usual with these core dishes, everyone in the Arab world claims them as their own and will happily wrangle over their provenance until the plate is cleared...


500g potatoes
3/4 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
1/4 cup plain flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion (@250g )
500g ground lamb
1/4 cup chopped almonds
100g chopped dried apricots
1 tsp baharat
175 ml water
1 tsp salt

Peach dip
3 peaches, chopped
1 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
50g walnut halves
2 tbsp vinegar (Balsamic is ideal)
1 tbsp date syrup
125ml water

Make the peach dip first: fry the chopped onion until it starts to brown, then add the peach pieces and the walnut halves. Cook for 1 minute, and then add the water. Cook for a further two minutes, then add all the other ingreditents. Cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, then leave to cool. When it's safe, blend the sauce and, if you like, strain it. It'll store in the fridge for days.
Now for the cakes. Chop the onion finely. Peel, cube and then boil the potatoes until tender, then dry mash them. Soak the burghul for 15 minutes, then press it dry. Mix the burghul and the mashed potato, then add the flour and the egg, beaten, into the combined burghul and potato. Season and mix well. Form into balls, wetting your hands first to stop the mixture sticking to them. This recipe should make 10 balls.

Fry the onion until it is translucent, then increase the heat, add the lamb and fry it until it browns. Stir in the other filling ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.

Flatten each burghul ball out, in the palm of your hand, and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Reshape into a ball, and then flatten slightly to form a cake.

Deep fry the cakes in hot oil, turning after about 3 minutes. Serve with the peach dip.


Mars said...

sounds like kibbeh...

alexander... said...

Nah, these are wayyy different. Try 'em!!! :)