Bulgar Rolls with Raisins and Onions

Cracked wheat-based Bulgar Rolls could possibly be the precursor of the modern day Kubbeh, popular in Syrian homes throughout the world. While most kubbeh is made by working the bulgar (usually with meat) until it naturally adheres to itself, this vegetarian version is particularly easy and tasty both as hors d’oevres and main dish material.

Yield: 24 medium-sized rolls

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Ingredients

2 cups finely ground bulgar wheat, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 medium onion, chopped

Directions

Place the bulgar, water, olive oil and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, and skim off any foam or particles that float to the top. Lower heat to medium and cook until water is absorbed, about 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally, to prevent bulgar from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon cumin. Let cool until bulgar can be easily handled. Add the flour and knead with the hands, pressing against the sides of the pot, until the mixture easily sticks together and is firm enough to form rolls. Set aside.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a small skillet. Fry the onions till golden brown. Add the raisins and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly. Cool. Stir in the other teaspoon of cumin and the ground cardamom, if desired. Mix well. Form the bulgar mixture into 24 elongated rolls, wetting your hands in cold water occasionally to aid the process. Holding one roll in the palm of the hand, and using the index finger of the other hand, make an indentation along the length of the roll, leaving space at the top and bottom.

Place a scant teaspoon of the onion-raisin filling along the indentation, and seal by pinching the sides together. Roll between the palms of the hands so that the roll is again uniform. Patties or burgers may also be made if desired: Make a ball, form a whole in the center with your index finger, add filling, close up and flatten.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven 35-45 minutes, till golden brown, turning once. Or if you prefer, fry in olive or sesame oil till browned on both sides.

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