Ablama With Laban (Stuffed Zucchini With Yogurt)

Zucchini is one of the vegetables which can be cooked in many different ways. I posted once zucchini stuffed with meat and rice. Today I prepared it the way my grandmother used to make it, stuffed with meat and cooked with yogurt. It was one of my favorite foods when I was a child. My mother used to make it in tomato sauce, and both ways are DELICIOUS. But, since today I had a lot of fresh yogurt, I decide to prepare it as per my grandmother’s recipe.

By the way “ablama” means in Arabic “ahead of time”, but I have no idea why it is called as such 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo zucchini, small size
  • 200 minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful pine seeds
  • 1 kilo yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • salt, 7 spices
  • canola oil
  • cooked rice

Preparation:

  • Wash the zucchini, cut the head and with a vegetable corer remove the insides and drain them
  • In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the chopped onion and pine seeds until slightly golden then add the meat and fry. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon spices
  • Fill the zucchinis with the cooked meat until you have filled them all
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil and fry the stuffed zucchini until slightly colored, put on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil

  • Place the zucchini in a pot, cover with water and cook on a medium fire, when the water boils reduce the fire, cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then drain

  • In another pot mix the yogurt with 2 tablespoons corn flour dissolved with 1 cup water
  • Place on fire, stirring constantly with a whisk until the yogurt starts boiling
  • Mix the crushed garlic with 1 teaspoon salt and the dried mint then fry gently in a small frying pan with 1 teaspoon of oil and add it to the boiled yogurt

  • To serve place cooked rice on a plate, add the stuffed zucchini and cover with the cooked yogurt

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT

Baked Kibbe (Kibbe Bilsaniya)

Kibbe is a famous Lebanese traditional food. It is made out of meat and bulgur with stuffing inside it from minced meat onion and spices. There are many ways to cook it: it can be baked in the oven, or rolled into balls with the stuffing inside it then fried and even cooked with yogurt. All these recipes require the same ingredients to make the Kibbe mixture and stuffing, however there are some variations. For instance, there is a vegetarian form of Kibbe made from pumpkin.

It’s a bit complex to make this dish, so I tried my best to simplify it for today’s post. Don’t be discouraged and feel free to post any questions in the comments if you need some clarification on any point, I’ll answer as soon as I see it. Together, we’re going to make Kibbe like rock stars! 😀

1.For the Kibbe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of fine brown bulgur
  • 600 grams beef meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until very fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur, add the salt and seven spices with the grated onion
  • Place the mixture in a food processor a bit at a time and keep blending until the mixture becomes creamy and all the meat and bulgur is used

Now your Kibbe is ready, put it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing.

2.For the Stuffing:

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams minced meat (better fresh not frozen)
  • 3 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 cup pine seeds (this is optional, but it is traditionally added and enhances the flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • In a large saucepan,  heat the oil and fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 15 minutes
  • Now add the pine seeds, season with salt, seven spices and the grenadine molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pine seeds becomes golden color

Let the stuffing cool. Now you have all the ingredients to make the Kibbe in the oven. All you need to do now is assemble them.

3.Putting it all together:

You’re going to need one more additional ingredient: 1 tablespoon of corn wheat.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and butter a baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of corn wheat with 1 cup of cold water. Wet your hand in this corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe.
  • Take enough Kibbe and spread it on the bottom of the pan to make a thin layer. (Remember to keep your hand wet with the corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe!)
  • Add enough of the stuffing on top of the Kibbe to just cover it.
  • Afterwards, add another thin layer of the Kibbe over the stuffing, the same way you did for the bottom one. With your hand still wet from the corn wheat solution, press gently down on the top layer with the palm of your hand to flatten (not squish) it
  • Divide the tray into four equal parts with a knife (go through each of the layers)
  • With the knife still in hand, lightly make diagonal lines on the top layer to form small diamonds. This adds texture to the dish and also helps it bake properly
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the upper crust. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until you see it become a nice brown color
  • Serve it with plain yogurt, or yogurt salad: crush one clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and mix it with yogurt. Peel and dice 5 cucumbers. Mix with 1 tablespoon of dried mint.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)