كبة بَالصنِية – Kibbeh Bisseniye : Burghul and Mince Baked Layers with Spiced Mince and Nut Filling

This is a traditional Lebanese recipe that is delicious, healthy and full of flavour.

Traditionally Kibbeh comes in many forms; some are football shaped filled with mince and nuts, then deep fried as an apetizer. This version contains the same ingredients but is baked instead of fried, hence saving on time and calories.

Dare I say, however, it is equally as delicous!

To make (makes enough for a family + leftovers for lunch):

For the outside (kibbeh) layers

1/2 kg fine burghul- soaked in enough water for about 1 hour – Drain later before using

250 gms lean beef of lamb mince

One medium onion – chopped

Handful of fresh mint, or a few tablespoons dry ground mint

Orange or lemon zest to taste ( I dont use it because my husband isnt a big fan of lemon flavours in food)

2 tablespoons ground corriander

Ground black pepper

Salt to taste

  • Blitz all ingredients in the food processor until a paste forms. It should be a bit grainy but not too rough.

For the filling:

250- 300 gms lamb mince

One or two large onions (according to preference)

Handful of chopped toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts

2 teaspoons ground corriander

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 Tablespoon sumak

alternatively you can use middle-eastern Baharat Spice mix

To make:

Brown mince in some oil in a hot pan, add onion and cook well. Add spices and fry off until dry. Do not burn. Season well and add the nuts. Set aside for stuffing

To assemble:

Add half the kibbeh mix to a greased/lined baking tin (I used a rectangular 20X 30 cm pan, but you can use any shape). Flatten out to fom an even later. You might need to wet your hands to make this easier.

Add the mince mixture and spread evenly.

Now the tricky part! Make medium sized patties and place ontop of the mince. Do not press hard. Repeat the process as if you are making a quilt, then press the seams together to make an even layer.

Wet your hands and gently run you fingers over the top to form an even and smooth surface

Cut out to desired shape and drizzle generously with olive oil and or butter/ghee. Garnish with raw almonds

Bake in a medium heat oven until cooked and springy to touch. Place under grill for extra colouration/crispy top.

Serve with rice and yogurt salad.



Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Salad

It’s been a while since my last post.. havent been feeling upto blogging much lately… Sometimes it feels like I blog to myself.. until I bumped into a family friend who told me she had been trying out recipes from my blog.. knowing that people are trying and appreciating my recipes encouraged me to get back into yet..

And my husband has been encouraging me too 🙂

Enough about me and now back to cooking ……….

This is what I eat when it is hot and I can’t be bothered standing infront of my electric stove top for long…

It is healthy and delicious.. try it out and it would be a sure favourite lunch for the hotter months.

Serves 2:

2 servings of dry thin rice noodles – cook according to packet instructions (usually you just soak in boile water for a couple of mins)

thin strips of red pepper and carrots – 1/4 cup each (i use a eg peeler to make thin ribbons of carrot)

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts

fresh mint and/or thai basil / corriander leaves – few roughly torn

small clove of garlic minced, added to noodles while hot (to avoid stinky breath!)

small handful fried shallots for garnish (optional)

For dressing

2 tablespoons of soy sauce (i use Maggi seasoning sauce as it has a nice flavour) you can also use fish sauce.

about 2 tsp sugar

squeeze of lemon or lime (approx 1 tablespoon )


250 gms beef  topside cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon kecap manis

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

1 small clove minced garlic

mix everything together and allow to marinate, then stir fry in some oil until crsipy, taste to adjust seasoning.

To make the salad, mix everything together and add dressing to taste.

Enjoy hot, warm or cold!


Kofta Curry

This  is a low fat version of kofta curry that is still full in flavour. Substituting fatty mince with lean topside and ground rice ,  makes this dish much lower in fat than regular kofta curry without compromising on the koftas being soft and tasty.

You will need:

1/2 kg topside beef finely ground to a paste

3/4 – 1 cup of rice (soaked)

1 large onion – pureed

1 large onion – finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

chopped corriander

5 large cloves of garlic

curry powder of your choice – 3 tablespoons

one large ripe tomato – pureed

2 tablespoons minced ginger

3/4 cup yogurt – whisked to become smooth

salt and pepper to taste.

To make:

Grind soaked rice in a small foodprocessor or using a mortar and pestle until small couscous sized grains form.

Add mince, onion puree, 3 grated cloves of garlic, chopped corriander, salt and pepper and mix well.

Make into pingpong sized balls and either deep fry or shallow fry in a pan until brown on the outside.

In a saucepan, fry off chopped onions until lightly golden. Add ginger, two minced cloves of garlic and spice powder. Fry until fragrant. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat until softened.

Add about 1.5 cups of water and bring to the boil. Season well, mix in the yogurt then add the meatballs.

Allow to simmer on medium heat, shaking the contents  frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add more water if necessary.

When cooked, serve garnished with chopped corriander and with plain rice or indian bread.

Beef Rendang

My first experience with rendang was during my melbourne uni days.  You couldn’t beat 3 dishes and rice for $6.50 at Noraisa’s kitchen on swanston st. I didnt actually know what i was eating at the time, except for the fact it was meat and it was delicious!

Rendang seems like a scary thing to make. But with this recipe, you will be making delicious rendangs!

You will need:

1 kg chuck beef – chopped into large cubes

1.5 Tablespoon Ginger* -minced

1.5 Tablespoon Galangal*- minced

1 cup grated onions

4 large garlic cloves (minced)

Approx 1.5 Tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass*

1 cup dessicated coconut

3 birdseye chillis* (more or less to taste)

0.5-0.75 cup coconut milk

3 kaffir lime leaves*. finely chopped. approx 1 tablespoon

1.5 Tablespoons malaysian meat curry powder. Baba brand is nice

2 Tablespoons sweet soy sauce- kecap manis.

Few tablespoons of oil for frying


*optional  ingredients, but impart a beautiful flavour to the dish.


Heat some oil in your cooking pot. Add onions, garlic, ginger, galangal, chilli and fry off on medium heat until fragrant and onions become very lightly golden.

Add curry powder and mix for a few seconds until fragrant.

Add lemon grass, lime leaf, meat and mix for a few minutes or you can skip this step. I just like to fry it off a little until the meat picks up a bit of colour.

Cover with water.

Meanwhile toast the dessicated coconut in a seperate pan for a few minutes. Mixing reglarly. It only takes a few seconds for the coconut to start browning. So do not leave the stove. You want it to achieve a golden toffee colour.

Once done add to the cooking pot.

Cover and allow to cook on gentle heat for about 1.5 hours(this will depend on cut of meat and desired tenderness, the following step should be done at about 30 mins away from doneness as a guide).  Check regularly if more water is needed.

Remove the lid, add the soy sauce, salt and coconut milk. Reduce until it reaches a point where you are almost stirfrying (ie have almost no water in the pot). Stir for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant. Adjust seasoning. Once done add more water and allow to cook for final time. Then reduce the gravy to desired consistency. It should not be too dry or too watery.

Beef and Veggie Pie

The cold weather has well and truly hit Melbourne.. weather like this loves pies.. and so do I.

For the filling you will need: (makes 5 individual pies)

500 gms beef (chuck beef is best but I used topside)

3 medium onions

One medium carrot  (chopped)

2 medium garlic cloves (crushed)

One medium potato (chopped)

Celery stalk (chopped-optional)

Corn and peas (approx 1 cup)

2 bayleaves (optional)

3 teaspoons sage or other dry herbs

Half a teaspoon of kecap manis (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Few tablespoons of flour

Puff pastry

One egg + one tablespoon of milk, whisked together for an egg wash.

To make:

Coat the beef pieces in flour and fry off in some oil until they pic up a brown colour.

Add onions and saute for a few minutes. Add a few cups of water and allow the beef to cook until tender (mine took about 1 hr).Scrape off all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and add the garlic and other seasonings. When almost done, add all your vegetables and cook.

If too thin, add a tablespoon or so extra flour until desired gravy thickness is achieved, or reduce uncovered for a few minutes. You want to have a consistency like shown below.

Place cooled filling in a baking dish (i made individual ones in small ramikens) and cover with a double layer of puff pastry which you have stuck together using the egg wash. Glaze the surface with egg wash and seal the edges well with extra puff pastry. Cut some holes into the top of the pastry to allow the pie to ” breathe” and not pop open.

Bake in a medium heat oven until golden and puffed.

Dig in and enjoy!


  • The browning process of the meat is very important in building the flavour for this pie. If your pan isnt  large enough, fry the beef in batches so they pick  up colour and do not stew.
  • You can add any herbs you like to this: thyme, marjoram, parsely etc.
  • Mushrooms work great with beef in pies, so use them if you want.

A bit of Japanese..

Well not really..

More japanese inspired..

The closest I get to authentic japanese food is eel sushi from china town.. but purists would disagree with it being authentic japanese.. avocados and all. I say what really matters is the taste..

Ok back to recipes.

This is a teriyaki inspired beef stirfry. Teriyaki sauce is typically made of soy sauce, sugar and mirin (rice wine). As a muslim I dont consume alcohol, so i substitute that for some rice vinegar. I like to add a bit of garlic, ginger and spring onions for more flavour.

Here is what you will need:

1/2 kg beef (beef stir fry strips are ideal.. but last night I only had cubes)

4 Tablespoons of Kikoman soy sauce

3 Tablespoons of Brown sugar (level)

1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar (also known as rice wine vinegar)

1 clove of garlic -minced (more to taste)

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (more or less to taste)

Oil for stir frying (couple of table spoons)

One spring onion finely sliced (optional)


Marinate all ingredients (except for the oil) for a few hours.. stirring every hour or so to obtain an even marination.

Heat oil in a pan or wok.. stir fry meat until glossy and a bit crisp. Make sure you drain the sauce out before frying and dont add the spring oninions as they may burn.

Add your choice of chopped vegetables and stir in for a few minutes.

Before finishing off, add remaining marinade sauce and stir in for a minute to ensure it is thorougly cooked (remember it had raw meat in it)

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with noodles or rice.