A vegan riff on Yotam Ottolenghi's delicious Open Kibbeh, baked layers of bulgar wheat, seasoned lentils and mushrooms, all topped with a sumac-spiked tahini sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180C fan/180F. Line a 20cm/8-inch spring-form cake tin/loose-bottomed tin with crumpled baking parchment. You want it to come up the sides most of the way.
Pour the bulgur wheat and flaxseed into a bowl, along with the salt and dried mint. Pour over the boiling water and cover with a plate. Leave to absorb for 20 minutes. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a wide skillet and saute the onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft. Add the spices and cook for one minute, followed by the mushrooms. Cook down until the liquid that is released is almost completely gone. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and Marmite, followed by the cooked lentils most of the pine nuts and most of the parsley. Grind in some black pepper if you wish.
Use your hands to squish up the rehydrated bulgur wheat and flaxseed into a quasi-dough, and press firmly into the bottom of the lined tin. Spread over the seasoned lentil and mushrooms and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
While this is in the oven, stir together the tahini lemon juice, and water. Add a good pinch of salt and the sumac.
Remove the pie from the oven and carefully spread over the tahini sauce. Top with the remaining pine nuts plus the sesame seeds, and return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes, or until the pine nuts are browned a bit. Sprinkle over chopped parsley and mint. Cut into wedges and serve warm or room temperature.
The Lentils - I used a pouch of cooked Merchant Gourmet Beluga Lentils for ease. If you are boiling up from scratch, do use a firm lentil like Puy. You want the cooked lentils to still hold their shape and not be at all mushy.
The Flavourings - I tried to recreate the depth of flavour that you get in an authentic lamb or beef kibbeh by using the sticky, savoury condiment Marmite. If you don't have this or the Vegemite, just leave it out. The pomegranate molasses is also not authentic but is essential for the rounded flavour that I hope you will find when you eat this dish.
The Bulgur Wheat - My bulgur wheat was quite coarse so I whizzed it up a bit in my blender. It might not be necessary but if yours is also coarse, do break it down a bit if you can as I think it might help it stick together. You may use couscous in place of the bulgur wheat.
Lower-Fat Option - to cut down on the fat (even though they are healthy, nutritious fats, they might not suit all of you) eliminate the tahini layer - or replace with ft-reduced hummus - and use oil-spray or vegetable stock to cook the vegetables.