jeudi 22 octobre 2009

LAMB PATTIES WITH HUMMUS AND PITTA / Boulettes d'agneau libanaises

English Version


If you want to have the taste of Lebanese cuisine at home, give a try to this recipe. This recipe was proposed as a challenge of October on Nigella’s forum.

If you look through the ingredient list, middle-eastern flavors (lamb, mint, cumin, pitta bread, chickpeas) will easily transport you to Lebanon.

If you have never tried Hummus before, don’t be scared. As for me, I have never heard of this sauce before.

I wasn’t afraid of tasting something new and unusual for me. Then it occurred to me that I had already seen n a TV show on Lebanese cuisine and I had noted down the recipe of hummus. It reassured me.
I quickly went to the internet to find out what it is and I easily found recipes and videos of how to make your proper hummus.
I decided to make my proper home-made hummus.

I have to admit the fact that I have never cooked lamb before. I have a tendency to cook chicken, duck, beef, turkey, pork or veal. Cooking lamb was a sort of discovery for me and I was quite happy with it. Lamb has a strong taste and odor but I think if it is properly cooked, it has a fabulous taste. Garlic and mint are perfect to season lamb.

I didn’t have any trouble in finding Hummus at my local supermarket.

As for pitta bread, I am very fond of it. It is soft and fluffy.

Bulgar wheat is also easily found at supermarkets. Bulgur is a popular grain in the Middle East and North Africa. It is high in dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium and with niacin, thiamin, vitamins E and B6, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and copper. One cup uncooked bulgur contains up to 20 grams of protein which is excellent for those on a vegan diet. Its nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice

My verdict: the recipe is definitely worth making it. Lamb patties were tasty and flavory. I felt as if I were in Lebanon.


50g bulgar wheat
500g lean lamb, minced
4 teaspoons dried mint
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 clove garlic
zest of 1 lemon
olive oil for frying

approx. 8 pitta breads
1 or so Little Gem lettuces, shredded
large bunch fresh mint, chopped
1 red onion, halved and sliced into very thin half-moons
1 x tub hummus (approx. 300g)
1 x tub Greek yoghurt (approx. 300g)
approx. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
about 4 tomatoes
1 or 2 lemons
Serving Size : Makes about 8 bulging sandwiches.


1.Soak the bulgar wheat by covering it with boiling water and leaving it for 15 minutes in a small bowl.

2.Drain the bulgar thoroughly, pressing the water out in a sieve and put it in a bowl with the minced lamb. Add the dried mint and oregano, mince in the garlic (I just grate it with a fine microplane) and the lemon zest. Stir everything thoroughly and then form into small walnut-sized patties, then flatten them slightly between your hands and arrange them, as you go, on a clingfilmed baking sheet or plate and let them stand for 20 minutes in the fridge to firm up. If you want to, you can cover them with clingfilm, too, and leave them in the fridge for up to 6 hours before frying them. I get, by the way, about 34 patties out of this mixture.

3.Fry the patties in a little olive oil until cooked through, and a beautiful golden brown on both sides. These are little, so it shouldn’t take too long: I’d reckon on about 4 minutes a side. The important thing is not to crowd the pan as you cook.

4.To make up your sandwiches, roughly proceed as follows. Toast or otherwise warm each pitta bread and cut a strip off one long side to open it, then stuff it with a salad of shredded lettuce, chopped mint and half-moons of red onion rings. Dollop into each gaping pitta (and you can do this before or after the salad stage actually) a couple of tablespoons of hummus mixed with 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt and a pinch of ground cumin. Cram with four or five lamb patties, then squeeze in half a tomato roughly chopped and give a good spritz of lemon juice.

French Version

Boulettes d'agneau libanaises

Voici une recette des bouleutes d’agneau à la menthe bien parfumées.

Cette recette est très facile et rapide à réaliser. Les boulettes sont mouleuse grâce à l’ajout du boulgour.

Elles sont à servir avec du pain pitta, des crudités et la sauce Humus (une sauce à base de pois chiche)

50 gr de boulgour (semoule de blé dur)
500 gr d’agneau, hachée
4 c à cage de menthe sèche ou fraiche
4 c à café d’origan
1 gousse d’ail, pelée
Zeste d’1 citron
L’huile d’olive pour la friture

Verser le boulgour dans un saladier. Ajouter de l’eau bouillante. Couvrir et laisser gonfler pendant 5-7 minutes.

Préparer la sauce : J’ai fait la farce pour les boulettes dans un robot.

Mettre tous les ingrédients dans un robot : le boulgour cuit, la viande hachée, la menthe, l’origan, l’ail, le zeste d’1 citron. J’ai ajouté également du sel et du poivre.
Former des boulettes.
Faire chauffer l’huile dans une poêle. Disposer les boulettes et les faire cuire pendant 4 minutes de chaque coté.

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