During my travels in Israel, I fell absolutely in love with Kofta. Who doesn't love a spiced meatball on a stick? Kofta, consist of balls of ground meat- usually beef, chicken, lamb or mutton, pork, or a mixture - mixed with spices or onions. This delicious recipe is a twist on Ottolenghi: from his cookbook Jerusalem. The original recipe serves it with tahini, but in the summer sweltering heat, I found yogurt to be a refreshing twist. The sumac makes it zingy and complements the sweetness of the lamb.
Yields: 6 Time: 30 min
For the koftas:
400g non-lean minced lamb or hogget
400g non-lean minced veal or beef (or just add another 400g of lamb)
150g onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
50g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped, plus extra whole ones to garnish
30g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1 large medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 tsp salt
For the sumac yogurt sauce:
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp sumac
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Place all the kofta ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix everything together. Now shape into long, torpedo-like fingers and skewer through. Press the mix to compress it and ensure the kofta is tight and keeps its shape. Arrange on a plate and chill until you are ready to cook them, for up to 1 day.
In a small bowl whisk yogurt and lemon juice.
Pre- heat grill to 400, cook on each side for roughly 3 min, or more depending on your preference of medium rare, medium, or well done. ( for lamb I like a medium)
Place cucumber on plate with spoon, drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle sumac.
Place lamb kebabs on top and garnish with parsley and pine nuts