Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Tahini Garlic Sauce
Lamb is the traditional meat for Kofta, although inventive people in the on-line cooking community have been doing their own versions. Thanks to #food_obsessed_girl on Instagram for the inspiration, she did a beef kofta in July and it reminded me of lovely holiday food in days gone by, so I re-created a meal I had in Athens a few years ago. Very popular with the men, especially, for some reason. Maybe it’s just my men, but it seems as if they particularly enjoy getting their hands into their food, building their own wrap just as they like it, drizzling over the exact amount of sauce.
You could use a mix of beef and lamb mince if you like and you can add different chopped salad accompaniments as you like and according to what you have around. Chopped tomatoes with onion and oregano would go well, as would grilled peppers.
I’ve also eaten these with chips instead of bread or rice and with a tangy lemon sauce. They’re so versatile, let loose your imagination! You really can’t go wrong.
Serves 4 Timings: 1 hour
For the tahini garlic sauce: 3 tablespoons light tahini, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
To serve with the koftas: flat breads, chopped cucumbers, yoghurt mixed with fresh mint, long peppers in brine, lightly pickled red onions, saffron rice
Soak some wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes as you make the meat mixture.
Using a stick blender, blitz up the onion, 2 cloves of garlic, fresh chilli, fresh parsley, and the lemon juice to make a thick paste. It will make your eyes water so try not to breathe!
Add the paste to the lamb mince along with the ground spices, oregano, tomato puree and Worcester sauce. Add a good pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Mix well with your hands. Form into short cylinder shapes about the length of your thumb around the wooden skewers and put into the fridge for 30 minutes to cool and firm up. You can get about 2 koftas on each skewer.
While they’re cooling, make the sauce by blitzing all the ingredients together. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Get the accompaniments ready – slice cucumbers, pickle sliced red onion in red wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar and salt, mix the mint and yoghurt, warm up the flatbreads and cook a pot of plain rice with a pinch of saffron added.
When the kebabs are cool and a bit firmer, grill them under a hot grill for about 4-5 minutes per side until the outside is browned and slightly crisped and the inside is still moist and fragrant.
Pile the kebabs up on a platter and let everyone serve themselves as they like.
A Hug from the Kitchen
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