I LOVE these. I love making them as they’re so quick and easy and most of all I love eating them as they taste SO good! I have made them a few times using different mixes of spices and ingredients and I think this is the best but, as always, play around with your recipes and make them how you like them.
They go beautifully with my easy peasy flatbread, but equally you could use pitta or standard tortilla wraps. I serve them with a smear of Greek yoghurt mixed with some mint sauce which is an easy and tasty addition to most meals. I also do a version of a quick pickled onion which cuts through the sweet fatty lamb perfectly so I urge you to try them too.
Top tip – Don’t use lean minced lamb. You need some fat in the meat to stop them being tough and dry. They will cook quicker the smaller you make them. Unlike traditional kofte which are usually in balls or long kebabs, I make mine into small patties which retain their juices and get a lovely crisped up outside. Yum!
1 red onion
Half a lemon
Small bunch of fresh coriander
400g lamb mince
1 tbsp of pine nuts, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of mace or nutmeg
1 tsp of dried mint or mint sauce
Olive oil for frying
Optional to serve
Homemade flatbread / Pitta bread / Tortilla – warmed slightly
100g greek yoghurt mixed with a tsp of mint sauce
Cut the onion in half lengthways through the root. Slice half into thin half-moons. Add these to a bowl with the juice of the lemon, a few coriander leaves and a good pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to macerate while you make and cook the kofte.
Grate the other half of the onion into a bowl. Chop the rest of the coriander (leaving a few leaves to garnish if you like) and add this to the bowl with the lamb mince. Add the nuts, spices, mint or mint sauce and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands, really squeeze it all together and mash it around to ensure even distribution of seasoning and spice. Form the mixture into around 8 small patties and chill for 10-15 mins to firm them up.
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the kofte. Cook for around 3-4 mins until they’re brown and then turn over to cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest on a plate for a minute or two while you make flatbread (optional) and plate the rest.
To serve – Lay a warm flatbread on a plate (or pitta / tortilla) and smear a dollop of your Greek yoghurt mixture across it. Top with lettuce leaves and cucumber. Add the kofte and drizzle some more yoghurt across the top. Finish with the pink pickled onions and a scatter of coriander leaves.
This is perfect midweek food that looks a bit special and tastes great. Try it and let me know how you get on!