Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski
Korraysah translates literally as “round,” which is the shape that these hearty vegetarian patties take on. My grandmother, Sitto, often prepared Korraysah on Good Friday, and she and her children would distribute them to those in need throughout the village.
These patties are a favorite of my sister Selma, a vegetarian, who says these beat any veggie burger she has ever tried. Light and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, korraysah make for a tasty snack or side dish, or as the star of a vegetarian main meal. I like to serve them with my garlic dipping sauce, Toum, and fresh lettuce for scooping, or on top of my Hummus Salata (chickpea salad).You’ll quickly find that these are a hit with meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Although I usually make korraysah with reconstituted dried chickpeas, I’ve included directions for canned chickpeas here for a quicker process but once again I prefer dried beans that are soaked overnight and uncooked for this recipe which makes for a tasty texture.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS (12 PATTIES)
3 medium potatoes
1⁄2 cup #1 fine bulgur wheat, soaked and softened
One 15 1⁄2-ounce can chickpeas (1 1⁄2 cup)
1 small Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for cutting board
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying, plus 2 tablespoons
1 head Boston lettuce, for serving
Thoroughly wash the potatoes, put them in a large pot with cold water to cover, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and immediately rinse under cold running water then submerge them in an ice-cold water bath. Transfer the cooled potatoes to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In the meantime, combine the bulgur wheat with 3 cups of cold water in a medium bowl to soak and soften about 20 minutes.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Pat dry on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, spread out in an even layer onto a cutting board, and roughly chop. Pick out any skins that release from the chickpeas and discard. Put the chopped chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the onion, parsley, flour, salt, white pepper, and garlic (if using) to the chickpeas in the bowl and thoroughly mix together with your hands.
By this time, the bulgur wheat should be softened. Test it by squeezing some of the wheat between your fingers, it should squish completely with no firmness. Working in handfuls, squeeze the excess water out of the soaked grains and sprinkle the grains into the onion-chickpea mixture.
Once the potatoes have cooled completely, remove them from the refrigerator, peel, and mash until smooth. Add the cold mashed potatoes to the chickpea-onion mixture and knead with your hands until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture has a doughlike consistency.
Form the patties: Lightly flour a cutting board or baking sheet. Lightly oil your hands with the vegetable oil, then take about 1⁄2 cup of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Gently press down on the ball between both palms to create a circular patty 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches thick and 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Continue forming the rest of the patties with the remaining mixture, lightly oiling your hands with the vegetable oil periodically to prevent sticking, and placing the patties on the floured surface. You should have about 12 patties.
Fry the patties: Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Pour the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan and place over medium-high heat. The oil level should come about 3⁄4 inch up the side of the pan. Bring the oil to a temperature between 350°F and 375°F, or when you see the oil start to slightly smoke and sizzle. Once the oil is ready, lightly oil a large silicone spatula, slide the patty onto the spatula and carefully lower it into the hot oil while pushing it off with a spoon. Cook the patties, two to three at a time, depending on the size of your pan and your patties. When the edges of the patties turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, carefully turn them over using 2 slotted spoons—a spatula will splatter hot oil over you! Fry on the opposite sides for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
Immediately remove the patties from the hot oil and transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to soak up excess oil.
Serve the Korraysah hot on a lettuce leaf, topped with Toum (garlic, olive oil and lemon sauce), or Khyar b Laban (cucumber-mint-yogurt sauce), radish slivers, and fresh herbs.
VARIATION: For a gluten-free version, substitute cooked cold quinoa for bulgur wheat, and replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour.
TABOULIE TIP! Make sure that the patties are not too thick otherwise they won’t cook evenly inside!
Copyright 2017 by Julie Ann Sageer in Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin. All Rights Reserved.
RECIPE BY JULIE ANN SAGEER (JULIE TABOULIE)
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