Kofta are spiced middle eastern meat parcels – typically oblong in shape and served on a skewer. For simplicity you can shape them into meatballs. These are really tasty and can be served with steamed rice or couscous. This recipe serves 4 – 5 depending on portion size and makes 20 meatballs.
For the meatballs:
- 500g minced lamb
- 1 glove of garlic (minced)
- 1/4 red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small courgette (grated)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 heaped tbsp. dukkah (mine was a macadamia nut dukkah – if you don’t have any a very fine breadcrumb will also work to bind the balls)
Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and shape into golf ball sized meatballs. Don’t be tempted to use more onion in the meatballs and it needs to be really finely chopped, otherwise the balls won’t hold together. You can leave this aside until you are ready to cook them. This will make around 20 meatballs.
For the sauce:
- Remainder of the red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
- 1 400g tin of whole peeled tomatoes
- Beef stock (1 cube / capsule / 2 tsp of bouillon dissolved in the tomato tin of boiling water)
- 100g of baby spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- drizzle of oil
In a large frying pan (wide enough to hold all the meatballs) heat a drizzle of oil and fry the onion, chilli and garlic until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Now add the meatballs to the pan and brown all over. If you are cooking rice or couscous now is the time to turn on a pan of water to boil.
Now add the tomatoes, stock, soy sauce and sugar to the pan and bring to the boil. Keep the heat relatively high as you want to reduce the sauce for improved flavour and consistency. If you are cooking rice or couscous, now is the time to cook it.
After 8 – 10 minutes add the spinach. Test the rice and if it is cooked through, drain and return to the pan with the lid on to steam until you are ready to serve. Once the spinach is cooked through test for seasoning and serve. This is lovely topped with some feta cheese and pine nuts.