OSH SHOMO-KOFTE BEBEYI is a Mountain Jew dish. “Osh” means pilaf, “Shomo-Kofte” (Shomo Köfte) means cutlets made of ground meat, and “Bebeyi” means that the dish is prepared in an old-fashioned way.
Unlike some of the other dishes of the Mountain Jews, this one is relatively easy to make.
*A full-sized picture of this dish is available in the Gallery
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 lb (450g) lamb
1 lb (450g) beef
1 large-sized onion
3 large-sized tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups long-grain (Basmati) rice (cup size 250 ml)
3 quarts (3 liter) water
3 tbsp salt
1. Grind the meat and onion two times and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well using your hands.
Place the forcemeat in the refrigerator for an hour. (For those who don’t know, forcemeat is a combination of ground meat, fat, and seasonings.)
2. Moisten your hands in water, shake off the excess, then divide the forcemeat into 6-8 equal pieces, and shape each one into oblong cutlets.
3. Preheat a frying pan, add olive oil, then, place the Shomo-Kofte into the pan. Cook over medium-high heat on both sides until your Kofte are golden brown.
4. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces and place them in between the Kofte.
Cover the pan with the lid and cook over low heat. The tomatoes will soften and their juice will seep out into the frying pan. Continue simmering the Shomo-Kofte (which will shrink as they cook) in the tomato sauce for about 15 minutes until they’re cooked through.
Preparing the Osh (pilaf).
1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water several times until the water stays clear, to remove excess starch.
2. Fill a pot (or saucepan) with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Place the rice into the boiling water. Stir, lower the heat to medium, and let it cook for 10 minutes (cooking time is depending on the quality of your rice). Cooked rice should be soft on the outside and hard inside (not raw).
3. Strain the rice using a colander, and rinse with a hot water, to wash out an extra salt.
4. Move the rice into a pot, and pour 3 tbsp of hot water on top.
5. Wrap the lid of the pot in a tea towel (or paper towel) and cover the rice. Cook over a very low heat for about 45-60 minutes. Put a heat diffuser (or a pan) under your pot to prevent burning.
When serving, place Osh (Pilaf) on the plate, then Shomo-Kofte, and pour over the rice the sauce.
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