potato kaloor / kufteh /kibbeh

Vegan food is getting more and more attention these days as our notoriously nutritionally bad typical American diet motivates an increasing number of people to try eating more healthy, and then there is the ethical treatment of animal issue. We love vegan food, but are not ready to give up dairy and occasional meats. This vegan version of a Middle Eastern favorite has multiple names: kaloor (Anjarian), kufteh (Armenian), kibbeh (Arabic), at least I think that is the situation, apart from multiple English spellings of these foreign words. We call them informally "bombs" because of the little football shaped form they have, and the original non-vegan version often finds itself floating in yougurt mint soup or in a flat layered version which is portioned out in triangular servings from a large round pan format and served with (plain) yogurt on the side. The potato version is also delicious to eat with your fingers, perhaps with some hummus.

The magic ingredient is always bulgur, a healthy form of wheat.


shell dough:
 4 medium (russet?) potatoes, boiled, skinned,riced (about 1.5 lbs), set aside 1 cup
3 nedium onions, finely chopped
1/2 c light olive oil
1 T red pepper paste
1 t cumin
salt, pepper to taste.
1/2 c bulgur #1 cut (fine)
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c semolina flour
1 T red pepper paste
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 t cumin
salt, papper to taste
vegetable oil for frying


  1. Prep the veggies. Rice the boiled potatoes, etc.
  2. Saute the onions in the olive oil until they are golden, lightly browned.
  3. Add the red pepper taste and spices and stir in, cook a bit with the onions.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook together until they absorb the remaining ingredients.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Mix together the bulgur, flours and red pepper paste.
  7. Add water a bit at a time until the dough "comes together" (this is a judgement call).
  8. Add the reserved potatoes and oil and spices and kneed together.
  9. Separate into egg-sized balls to make the shells to fill with the filling.
  10. Gently open up each ball to form an open shell, put in some filling and then work the shell around the filling to close it up.
  11. Repeat until all the balls are processed.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 10 minutes to firm up the kaloor so they absorb less oil in frying.
  13. Fry the kaloor in vegetable oil.
  14. Cool.


  1. Isgouhi's recipe for yogurt mint soup (with kibbeh).
  2. Illustrations available.
potatokaloor.htm: 4-apr-2020 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]