Spicy Herb Kofta Platter Recipe

TThese skewered lamb meatballs are boldly flavored with cumin, sumac and harissa. The dipping sauce is both spicy and refreshing – the fresh green chili brings the heat and the creamy yogurt balances. You will have some sauce left over, but it’s delicious served with all kinds of grilled meats or cooked vegetables.

Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes


Two to four


For the sauce

  • 250g of plain yogurt
  • 40g fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small hot green chilli, fresh, stemless and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt

For the kofta lamb

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 225g ground lamb
  • 5g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of harissa
  • 2 teaspoons of sumac
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Pile of warmed pitta bread
  • 5g fresh mint leaves
  • 5g fresh coriander leaves
  • ½ lime


  1. Pour yogurt into a shallow serving bowl. In a blender or food processor, combine the mint, chili, lime juice, brown sugar, salt and several peppercorns. Mix until very finely chopped. Pour mint mixture over yogurt; you can leave as is or mix the two together. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. Do the kofta. Using a mortar and pestle or the side of a large knife, crush the garlic into a paste. Mix the cumin into the garlic paste and mash the two together until the cumin is coarsely ground. Transfer the batter to a medium bowl and add the lamb, cilantro, harissa, sumac, egg, salt and lots of pepper. Stir well to combine (your hands are the best tool for this step – they will help distribute the seasoning evenly), then shape into 10 golf ball-sized meatballs. Pierce each meatball with a small, flat wooden skewer, then shape it into an oval shape around the skewer for a classic kofta look. (If you don’t have small skewers, don’t worry, the kofta will be just as delicious.)
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in the oil, then cook the meatballs until browned on one side – 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until just cooked through – about four minutes.
  4. Serve the kofta on a plate or board with the bowl of sauce for dipping. Stack the pitta (whole or cut into quarters) next to it. Arrange the leaves in a pile, squeeze the lime juice and season with a pinch of salt and several peppercorns.

Planks, Platters, Plates Recipe by Maria Zizka (Artisan, £ 15.99). Order a copy of books.telegraph.co.uk.

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