My initial plan was to make rice and potato kibbeh then that shifted and I wanted to try to make the same great taste a bit healthier without all that added oil. So I turned the popular recipe into an oven baked casserole with all the same great flavors only with less fat. If you do not have almond slices or ground almond on hand then you can use bread crumbs for the topping. I personally added the crushed almonds on top because Arabs love nuts within they’re food so it really gives this dish an extra punch. The astonishing fact about casseroles if that you can take several dishes and make it into one. I mean just look at this one it has potatoes, rice and veal.
2 cups basmati rice, washed
3 cups water
2 cubes white or chicken bouillon
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 kg ground veal
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 beef bouillon, crumbled
3 tablespoons pine seeds, toasted
3/4 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup melted butter
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat place rice, water and white or chicken bouillon. Stir constantly until boiling then cover and cook over a low heat until rice is cooked. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Mash the potato and the rice until puree then cover and set aside.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan, add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add veal and cook until golden brown. Add curry powder, beef bouillon cubes and pine seeds and stir until well combined. Remove pot from heat and leave to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl add rice mixture and veal, mix until well combined. Grease a casserole pan then carefully add mixture, pressing down. Sprinkle almonds on top then drizzle butter all over casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.
Yields: 12 servings