When I lived in London, I used to get the most incredible pre-mixed lamb kofta from a slightly run down Persian grocery store in Kensington. I’ve attempted to recreate it with a mix of spices myself but it was never quite as good. A few weeks ago, a package arrived with an array of different spice blends along with recipe cards from Spice Tree Organics. There was no question as to which I would try first. The Istanbuli kofta was exactly as I remembered – thank you Doaa and Freda for your meticulously toasted, ground and blended spice mixes!
1 lb ground lamb
2 tbsp + 2 ½ tsp Istanbuli Kofta spice
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated (juices drained)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Thoroughly mix all the spices, onion, and parsley into the meat.
2. Chill meat mixture for one hour. In the meantime, preheat broiler or grill and make your tzatziki (recipe below).
3. Depending on the size of kofta you prefer, divide the meat mixture into 6 or 8 portions. Using a skewer or butter knife, mold the kofta around the skewer into a long sausage shape. If butter knife was used, carefully pull the kofta off of the knife without ruining the shape.
4. Place the koftas onto a hot broiler pan or grill. Cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until browned on the surface.
5. Turn kofta and cook an additional 4 minutes until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki.
2 cups of plain greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
1. Grate the cucumber and mix with 1 tablespoon of salt. Place it in a sieve over a bowl. Fill a zip lock bag with water and use as a weight over the cucumbers to help speed up the draining process. Leave for an hour then squeeze as much liquid out of the cucumbers with paper towels.
2. In another bowl, mix the yoghurt, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dill. Next add the cucumbers, stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.