Saturday, December 3, 2011

Arabic food

Over the next few weeks these food-filled posts may get a little sporadic because I am on holiday in NZ, but I'll probably have time to write and plenty to say about food. Before I left I had the chance to make one last dinner for myself and my housemate and I went for Arabic flavours, because sometimes I miss that sort of food. Now that I will be back in New Zealand maybe I should try make some for my friends there, whose Middle Eastern cuisine is possible limited to hummus. Below is my own recipe for something like kofta, though I doubt it's really proper kofta. Basically, it's lamb meatballs with eastern-style spices. Only mine turned out rather dry, I left them cooking too long. Funnily enough, I always found ground-meat dishes, such as kofta, too dry when in Abu Dhabi - over there we generally stuck to a vegetarian diet. They were OK though, especially when served with a creamy dressing. I had no tahini so settled for yoghurt with a bit of crushed garlic and lemon mixed in. Served with hummus (recipe to come soon) and stuffed peppers it made a meal to remind me of the time I spent in the UAE.

Lamb Kofta

400 grams lamb mince
2 tablespoons parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons lemon joice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg

Looking at this recipe I realise that it's incredibly simple. It is, however, possible not complete. I know that many people use breadcrumbs in meatballs, as I usually would. But I had a look at some recipes for kofta and they didn't generally mention breadcrumbs. So I stuck with just meat for now but maybe I'll alter it in the future.

So, to make the meatballs (or patties, or shape the meat around skewers), simply mix everything up well in a large bowl. This will be easiest done with your hands. Shape it however you want (I made six large meatballs) and if you want you could roll the meat in breadcrumbs or flour at this point. I didn't, but if you want to fry them the flour helps the shape to hold.

To cook the kofta you could bake it, grill it or fry it. They don't take long, just make sure they are cooked right through. Then serve with other bits and pieces to make an arabic 'mezze', or make it into a more substantial meal by serving with rice or couscous and vegetables.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, a lovely entry for Food on Friday: Lamb. Thanks for linking in. Cheers


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