Recipe: Burghul and Potato Pie - Kubbat Batata

by Habeeb Salloum, Oct 1, 2006 | Destinations: Syria / Damascus

Serves from 8 to 10

For vegetarians this is a God sent dish. Mouth-watering hot or cold, it is one of the top culinary delights in the Greater Syria area.

1 1/2 cups fine burghul (found in Middle Eastern and health stores), soaked for 15 minutes in warm water, then drained by pressing out the water through a strainer
3 cups mashed potatoes
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 cups finely chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

Thoroughly combine burghul, potatoes, flour, basil, cinnamon, cumin, 1 cup of the onions, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, then divide into two even portions and set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan, then sauté remaining onions with garlic, coriander leaves and pine nuts or almonds over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread one portion of burghul and potato mixture in a 9 by 13 inch well-greased pan, then spread frying pan contents evenly on top. Spread the other portion of burghul and potato mixture on top and smooth. Cut into 2 by 2 inch squares, then sprinkle with remaining oil.

Bake in a 200° C (400° F) preheated oven for 40 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

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