These spicy lamb kofta’s are intensely satisfying and one of the most popular meat dishes on the menu at the restaurant. If you have a friendly butcher close by, buy a piece of lamb shoulder and ask them to de-bone and grind it once using a 6mm cutting plate, to achieve a coarsely textured, rich, sweet, full-flavoured mince with a balanced fat ratio which will keep the kofta’s perfectly moist whilst cooking.
Less than 1 hour
1 kg minced lamb shoulder
½ red pepper, finely diced
½ green pepper, finely diced
½ small bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ tsp. sea salt
8 flat wooden bamboo skewers, pre-soaked in water
Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and ideally use your hands to mix and meld all the ingredients together. Then divide the mixture roughly into 24 small balls with lightly oiled hands, or alternatively if you don’t have any skewers to hand, make 8 larger oval shaped patties using cupped palms.
Chill the mixture for an hour to firm it up and help it to stay together when skewering the balls, then thread 3 small balls onto each skewer.
Weather permitting, cook over hot unadulterated lumpwood charcoal for 3-4 minutes on each side to get a lovely smoky barbecued flavour into the meat, just be careful not turn to them until they are well sealed or the meat will stick to the grill. If housebound, pan fry in little grapeseed oil in a hot cast iron skillet, flipping the kofta patties every 30 seconds or so until they develop a nice crust and a juicy, medium-rare interior. If you have a thermometer, remove them from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 54°C and rest them for 5 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of hummus or plain yogurt with Fattoush salad on a plate or stuffed into a warm pita bread.
Recipe by James Walters, self-taught chef and founder of Arabica.