Kofta is a family of foods consisting of ground up or minced meat, seasoned and made into meatballs, patties and/or meatloaf. Kofta recipes can be found originating from the Middle East to Southern Asia and while 85% of the recipes I’ve come across are meat focused, there are a handful of Indian recipes that substitute paneer, potato or starchy plantain to be vegetarian. The protein used can be beef, lamb, pork, mutton, poultry and/or blend. I love the flavor of good clean lamb, but pork’s ability to take on flavor is unmatched, and the gamey taste of lamb can turn people off. I like to use a blend of lamb and pork. This way I get the strong clean flavors I want of the lamb and spices but can easily please a hesitant crowd.
We then we eat this with Raita (recipe below), a cucumber-yogurt sauce that dances with the spiced lamb on your palate and creates a subtle tingle of love and harmony in your soul.
Lamb Kofta with Raita
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4lbs ground lamb
1lb ground pork
1/2c packed Fresh basil, medium chop
1 lemon, zested and zest chopped fine
1t cinnamon, ground
1t black pepper, ground
1t cumin, ground
1t clove, ground
2T onion powder
2T garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat grill, fire up coals or warm oven at 450f. (these are best grilled over charcoal or wood)
In a non reactive mixing bowl or kitchen aid mixer combine meats, spices, salt, zest, eggs and then breadcrumbs. Mix until spices are fully incorporated and spread evenly through the mixture. Then fold in basil.
It would be good to let this mixture sit for 1-2hrs in the refrigerator to help the flavors bloom before cooking. You don’t want it to sit too long otherwise the salt will begin to cook the meat.
Once the desired time has passed, form a meat log over skewers, meatballs, or patties. Place these on the grill with direct high heat and cook for 4-5mins on each side, or until cooked to medium well. Be sure to be gentle, until the meat is cooked it can be a little fragile and fall off the skewer.
Serve on or off the skewer while still warm with my herb fresh Coriander Raita.
1pt full fat Greek yogurt
4ea garlic cloves, finely minced
1bu cilantro, chopped
1ea medium tomato, concasse
1bu mint, chopped
2T coriander, toasted and ground
2t cumin, toasted and ground
1ea English cucumber, diced, but seeds removed
1ea lime, juice and zest
Place cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss well; drain for 30 minutes. Then place all ingredients with the salted cucumbers into bowl and fold together.
Season with salt. Taste. Does it need more salt? Can you taste all of the ingredients?
Eat with lamb, chicken, naan, pita or whatever your little heart desires.
Store refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 3 days.