So I received a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem for Christmas; a cookbook I have been lusting after for ages. Ottolenghi was the first restaurant I went to as soon as we landed in London, and I loved it (I’ve since also been to his other restaurant NOPI – also wonderful!). Though he’s known for his amazing vegetable creations (oh, the aubergine), his meat dishes are also phenomenal and use spices so beautifully. This is my take on his kofta b’siniyah, using ingredients from my pantry (rather than buying extra items, I used the spices from my Everyday Essentials List). These kofta make such a yummy dinner paired with your favourite warm vegetables or a simple fresh salad; grain-free, dairy-free and protein-packed. And the tahini sauce is sooo delicious; make extra and keep it in the fridge for the rest of the week.
Lamb Kofta with Tahini Sauce
- 400 grams lamb mince
- 400 grams beef mince or veal mince
- 1 brown onion
- 2-3 clove garlic depending on size
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust according to taste preference)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- coconut oil or olive oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup tahini (hulled)
- 1 lemon
- 1-2 cloves garlic depending on size
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper or foil and set this aside.
- Get the sauce ready before you cook the kofta. Juice the lemon and crush the garlic cloves. Place half of the lemon juice and the rest of the sauce ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a bowl. Add half a cup of filtered water. Whisk the ingredients together to form a smooth sauce (add extra water if needed). Taste test. If you prefer it more tangy, add the rest of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Then set aside.
- Move on to the kofta. Peel and finely dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic cloves. Place all kofta ingredients except for the coconut oil in a large bowl and use your hands to combine everything. Then, shape bits of the mixture into little torpedo-shaped kofta - I used about 2-3 tbsp mixture per kofta and made 24 small ones.
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and cook the kofta in batches over a moderate-high heat for about 5 minutes per batch, turning each kofta so they brown up all over. As you finish each batch place them on the baking tray you prepared earlier.
- When all the kofta have been browned, place the tray in the oven to finish cooking the kofta for 3-5 minutes (no longer or they will dry out). Remove from the oven as soon as the cooking time is finished.
- Serve a portion of the kofta drizzled with the tahini sauce. I like to dust mine with fresh parsley and paprika and serve it with roasted vegetables.