A lot of my childhood memories involve food. My mum’s curry, lobster and mackerel caught by Dad, Saturday morning pancakes, cheese fondue as a treat now and then, the good old Sunday roast, I could go on. These little beauts however, categorically remind me of my Granny. I remember being mesmerised watching her tiny hands make these spiced Assyrian dumplings poached in a fragrant spiced soup, while she explained in pigeon English how to do it.
Granny never wrote recipes down though, so it fell to my mum to work out actual quantities. I entered this dish in a cooking competition a couple of years ago, and although I didn’t win, the recipe was printed in a cook book to accompany the TV series. You can see it on one of my earlier blog posts here or you can buy it online here. For whatever reason the recipe was changed slightly by the book writers, but here’s the original, and best… Not that I’m biased! Here’s what you’ll need:
250g lean minced beef
1 large onion very finely diced
Large handful chopped curly parsley
1 rounded dessert spoon of hot curry powder
1 rounded dessert spoon of garam massala
Salt and black pepper
500g lean minced beef
500g ground rice
Salt and black pepper
1/4 pint water.
For the stuffing, fry the meat in a little oil, add the onion and dry ingredients. Once cooked add the parsley. Set aside to cool.
For the dough mix all the ingredients by hand (or the kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment works well too) adding the water a little at a time until it feels like soft bead dough. If it’s too wet add a little more ground rice otherwise the Kubbah will disintegrate while cooking. Leave to stand for half an hour.
You’re now ready to roll. Take a golf ball amount of dough and roll into a ball.
Use your thumb to make a hole and pinch gently round to form a small bowl shape.
Stuff the hole with as much of the stuffing as you can squeeze in without it splitting.
Pinch the edges together and gently toll back into a ball shape. If the dough starts to split dip your finger in a little water and smooth over the surface. Now slap the Kubbah between your hands to form into a disk shape.
These freeze brilliantly, so once you’ve rolled them all you could put them in the freezer for a later date, or you can go ahead and make the soup to poach them in straight away.
1 finely chopped onion
1 dessert spoon of paprika
1 chicken stock cube
1 swede cubed
1 tin tomatoes
2 dessert spoons of tomato puree
Juice of 2 lemons
Handful fresh mint leaves
3 pints of boiling water.
In a large pan fry the onion until softened then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil and add the Kubbah a few at a time. The soup needs to stay at a rolling boil to stop the Kubbah disintegrating.
The Kubbah will float to the top when they are cooked.
Check the swede is tender (usually about 20 minutes). Serve in soup bowls and enjoy.