I’ve eaten kofta or kofte in Greek restaurants, in Indian restaurants, in the home of my Lebanese friend and as Qofte in Albania. There seem to be so many versions of this dish around the world but considering that the word just means balls of ground meat with spices this is perhaps not surprising.
This is my tried and tested spice mix for lamb kofta and it has become a favourite at summer barbeques and mezze style dinner parties. I’m not sure in which corner of the globe these kofta sit best and this goes in their favour and makes them very versatile. Serve with cous cous and raita for a Moroccan twist, or rolled inside flat breads with tzatziki and hummus for a more Greek style affair. They are also good with rice as in the photo above.
Kofta are best cooked on a charcoal barbeque but as that’s just not possible at this wet and windy time of year it is fine to grill them as long as you preheat your grill to its hottest setting. It’s definitely worth buying decent quality lean lamb mince and you could use beef if you prefer.
PS. Sorry for the disturbing photo – I don’t think I’m going to win any guardian food photography awards with this one.
Makes 18 sausage sized koftas
- 750g minced lamb
- 1 small onion
- A handful of fresh parsley
- A handful of fresh coriander
½ teaspoon of:
- Ground cumin
- Grated nutmeg
- Dried oregano
- Dried mint
- Cardamom, husks removed and crushed with a pestle and mortar
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
In a large bowl combine the lamb mince with all the spices in the list above and mix well with your hands. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge.
Leave for the flavours to mingle for at least an hour. I tend to do this part in the morning ready for dinner in the evening.
Shape into sausages. It helps if your hands are slightly wet.
These are best cooked on the BBQ but are also good grilled under a high heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the kofta regularly so that they colour well on all sides.