Make Ahead

Kibbe Neye....Vegetarian Bulgur Torpedos

June 29, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 12-15
Author Notes

The traditional recipe for Kibbe Neye uses raw meat mixed with bulger.(neye means raw in Arabic). My mother-in-law, Jamille Betesh used to make it all the time using raw meat and I unaware of the key ingredient used to gobble them up. When I found out that raw meat was used I quickly lost my appetite. But then I discovered you could substitute lentils for the meat and it tastes just as good and is a whole lot healthier!! —Joy Betesh

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups fine bulgur
  • 3 onions chopped fine
  • 3-4 scallions chopped fine
  • 1 red pepper chopped fine
  • 1 green pepper chopped fine
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1/2 bunch curly parsely washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water or more
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  1. In a large bowl mix the scallions, peppers, tomatoes, and parsley and bulger and set aside.
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils, put in a saucepan with 1/2 the onions and the cup of water to cover or more. Cook the lentils till they are soft and turn yellow, about 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer to rid of excess liquid and add to the bowl with the veg. and bulgur. Saute the rest of onion in the oil and when translucent add to the bulgur mixture.
  3. Add the tomato paste and spices to bowl and mix well with hands. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let rest in refrigerator for 30 -45 minutes.
  4. Adjust seasonings.Using your hands shape each tablespoon of the mixture into torpedo form. Pile on a platter and serve at room temperature.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mikedalena
  • Julia Mays
    Julia Mays
  • Panfusine
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • Joy Betesh
    Joy Betesh

9 Reviews

mikedalena June 11, 2019
Hey Joy! I, myself love raw meat! (I grind my own burgers and eat them Pittsburgh style.) What quantity of meat would one use if one wanted to make it like your mother-in-law did‽ By the way your veggie version does sound awesome. I don’t mean to downplay it. But I’m intrigued by the meat version! :-)
Winnie September 6, 2018
The picture looks just like the lentil kibbe torpedos at my health food store and those are delicious so I was thrilled to find this recipe. It did not quite work for me though I followed it to the letter. I did use uncooked bulgur thought I was a little confused on that point. In the finished product, the bulgur really overshadows the lentils and the salad doesn't hold together into torpedos so next time I do this I will probably adjust and try a 1/1 bulgur/lentil ratio to see how that works out. Still, it is a tasty, cool salad that is easy to prepare during a summertime heat wave.
Joy B. September 8, 2018
Hi Winnie, Did you use fine bulger...that could make a difference because there are medium and large bulger grains?
Winnie January 26, 2019
Hi Joy,
I made this again with fine bulgur and it worked! Absolutely delicious and I feel so virtuous eating it :-)
Julia M. March 4, 2016
this was disgusting and didn't end up looking like the picture! GROSS
Panfusine June 30, 2011
Another winning recipe from you, joy!. looking fwd to trying this one. Love that its vegetarian.
Joy B. June 30, 2011
Thanks, Panfusine!
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 30, 2011
Looks very appetizing. So, no baking, pany fry, etc? Shape out of the fridge and thats it? I love that it can be served room temperature. Do you have a suggested dipping sauce?
Joy B. June 30, 2011
You might use a sweet and sour tamarind sauce.....but I don't think it needs one.....they are tasty all by themselves!