1 onion, roughly chopped
300 g (101?2 oz) fine bulgur, rinsed and drained
1?2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1?2 teaspoon ground allspice
1?4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried za’atar
or dried oregano
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 60 ml (2 fl oz) for greasing
For the Nectarine filling:
knob of butter
handful pine nuts
1 red onion, thinly sliced
150 g (51?2 oz) nectarines,
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon ground sumac
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serve with cucumber and mint yoghurt
1. In a small food processor, blitz the onion to a fine paste. Remove and
strain, keeping the juices and the onion puree separate.
Add the burghul to a large bowl and use your hands to rub in the
reserved onion juices.
2. Stir in the spices and season, then pour over 275 ml (91?2 fl oz/1 cup) water. Use a fork to fluff and set aside for about 10 minutes.
3.Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the
pine nuts for about 1 minute or just until starting to colour, then add the
red onion for 1–2 minutes until softened. Add the nectarines, Aleppo pepper
flakes, mint and sumac. Season, stir well and set aside.
5. The burghul should have absorbed all of the water. If not, squeeze out the
excess water very well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the lamb and
pureed onion, and mix well.
6. Transfer the mixture to the food processor,in batches, pulsing it to produce a fine paste. Stop once the mixture has become a cohesive paste. This process should take 2–3 minutes. Pinch off a small piece and quickly fry it in a small frying pan until cooked. Taste. Adjust the seasoning of the mixture to your preference.
7. To a small bowl, add some water and ice cubes. Grease a 23 cm (9 in)
round dish or baking tin with oil. Spread a third of the meat paste out onto
the base of the greased dish, creating a thin, even layer. Dip your fingers
into the bowl of iced water to help make it easier to spread.
8. Next, tip the nectarine filling on top of the layer of meat and spread evenly.
Roll out the remaining meat mixture between two sheets of baking paper
(parchment) to the circumference of your dish or tin. Remove the top
layer of paper, then using the bottom paper layer, transfer the rolled out
dough by gently flipping this layer over the filling in the dish. Then dab
your fingers in the iced water and very gently stretch the meat to connect
it together, creating an even top layer.
9. Using a knife, gently cut the pie into quarters, and then repeat once
more to create eight triangular slices. Score the top layer of each triangle
diagonally and then across again to create diamond shapes. Using your
thumb, create a small hole in the centre where the triangular points all
meet, then create baseless pyramids in the centre of each triangle, making
sure they continue along the same line, to achieve a star pattern. Drizzle
over the oil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown on
top. Serve with cucumber and mint yoghurt.
Cucumber and mint yoghurt
175g (6oz) full-fat Greek yoghurt or soft labneh
75g (2½ oz) cucumber, grated or diced, plus extra slices to decorate
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped (optional)
Zest of ½ lemon
Flaky sea salt
Combine the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning and texture to your liking. Serve as a dip or condiment.
Also try: For another regional variation known as ‘mesh’, substitute the cucumber and mint for 75g (2¾ oz/½ cup) crumbled feta, ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek, 1 finely chopped green chilli, a handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and 1 tablespoon nigella seeds.