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Lamb and Pistachio Kofta

Tony Kitous

by Tony Kitous, Dan Lepard from Comptoir Libanais

A delicious Arabic inspired recipe of lamb and pistachio koftas. Ideal for BBQs or dinner with friends, homemade kofta is best served with a simple tabbouleh.

Introduction

In Arabic kofta means meatball, though in Arabic cuisine meatballs are not always round and are just as often shaped into ‘torpedoes’, patties or long sausages. They can be cooked in a sauce (see p. 168), or left plain and simply grilled or pan-fried as they are here. The secret to how good your koftas taste depends on how you flavour them. The meat is lean and needs plenty of salt and pepper, together with herbs and/or spices. In this version of the kofta, which we serve at Comptoir, we also throw in a handful of chopped pistachios, which add a bit of crunch. I would serve these very simply with tabbouleh, a drizzle of garlic sauce and flatbreads.

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Ingredients

500g lean minced lamb or beef
1 small onion, grated
150g pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground allspice
olive oil, for frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Put the mince in a bowl and add the onion, pistachios, parsley, chilli and spices. Season well with salt and pepper and use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly.

Scoop up dessert spoonfuls of the mixture and form into small log shapes, squeezing the mixture to mould them. Flatten each side slightly on a board to give them a boxy shape.

Heat a griddle pan until hot. Brush a little olive oil over the koftas and fry in batches of 5 or 6 for about 2 minutes on each side. Cut through one to check there are no pink bits left in the mince and they’re ready.

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