Mock Kheyma, a Lenten treat

Mock Kheyma

Kheyma, a.k.a.Hoom or Chee Kufteh is one of those foods that is very personal. Since folks can be finicky about eating raw ground meat, you either love kheyma or hate it.
I’ll only eat kheyma under strictly controlled conditions – it must be made in my own kitchen, by my hubbie and/or me, using the best quality meat purchased at a tried- and- true butcher, and ground in our own grinding machine. Needless to say, we don’t have it often.

Luckily, the Lenten season provides us with a mock (sud) version, using no meat whatsoever. A  friend of mine found a recipe for mock kheyma and passed it along. After examining the recipe, I made a few changes according to the ingredients I had on hand, and got busy in my kitchen. The final product was very similar to my grandmother’s sarma gurgood recipe, except that the mock kheyma can be shaped.

The Armenian Kitchen’s version of MOCK  KHEYMA

1 c. fine bulgur (#1)
2 cups warm water
½ of a 6 oz. can tomato paste
3 Tbsp. red pepper paste
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, washed, stems removed, finely chopped
1 small orange or yellow pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
3 to 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground coriander
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the bulgur in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix the tomato paste and red pepper paste in the 2 cups of warm water until well-blended. Pour the tomato-red pepper mixture over the bulgur. Stir to combine; cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the bulgur to absorb the liquid for about 15 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, combining well. Cover and refrigerate at least for 1 hour.

4. Just before serving, shape like lule kebab (or sausages) and serve with chopped parsley, slivers of raw onion, and pita bread.
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  1. Pam March 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Mock kheyma is a favorite year-round treat in our family. It's one of the first recipes my niece learned how to make, and she'll eat it morning, noon, and night 🙂

    1. Robyn March 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      It's a keeper, for sure!

  2. Ara March 7, 2012 at 1:10 am

    We call mock kheyma "ich". There are a couple of variations. The main one involves frying the onions in the olive oil, then adding the water, tomato paste and pepper paste. Then you add the hot mixture to the bulgur.

    The other variation is from Oorfa. The recipe is quite different. You basically make a taratoor (with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water). To this you add a little tomato sauce (until it looks pinkish). You soak the bulgur and some cooked chick peas in the sauce. Add chopped scallions. Top it with chopped parsley and red pepper (for color). The "keyma" is served in a bowl and has to be somewhat watery (about the consistency of jajuk).

  3. Sonia March 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

    it's so nice to hear this new version of Ourfa Ich.Thank you Mr. Ara. I have prepared different types of ICH, with different names. this is quite different & interesting. Ourfa's cuisine in very rich & extraordinary. Is it the way your mother or grandmother had prepared, or you have changed ?

  4. Anonymous January 12, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Is there a good substitute for the red pepper paste? I've thought of baking/drying out jarred roasted red peppers and pureeing that. Does that sound like a good idea?


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