A delicious spiced lamb koftas, served with flatbread, is the perfect choice for a dinner party. You should make it now so you know just how good it will be for when you can actually hold a dinner party that doesn’t just consist of your family members.


Serves 4 or so

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few knobs of butter

Salad

  • ¼ of a cucumber
  • 12-16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, plus extra, to serve
  • A pinch of sugar, optional
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 4-6 pitta breads or flatbreads, warmed slightly
  • A few tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

 

1 Add the minced lamb to a large bowl, along with the very finely chopped onion, the crushed or finely grated garlic, whichever you’re using, the ground cumin, the ground coriander, the ground turmeric and the sumac.

2 Add in the chopped fresh coriander and season well with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. (To check the seasoning at this stage, see my tip). Using wet hands, shape the rest of the mixture into small sausage shapes (see photo, above). These can be left in the fridge for up to 24 hours or, if the mince hasn’t been frozen already, they can be frozen, until you are ready to cook.

3 When you are ready to cook the koftas (see Note at the end of the recipe), add the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter to a large frying pan placed on a medium-to-high heat. Fry the koftas for 10-15 minutes, or until they are brown all over and cooked through. Turn the heat down to low once they’re browned to finish the cooking.

4 While the koftas are cooking, cut the cucumber into small chunks, and cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. Mix the cucumber chunks and the halved cherry tomatoes with some chopped fresh mint and a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the pinch of sugar if you are using it.

5 Remove the koftas from the pan and leave them to rest for a few minutes. Arrange some warm koftas on each plate, along with some warmed pitta breads or flatbreads, whichever you’re using, the seasoned minty cucumber and tomato mixture, and the natural yoghurt. You can also serve with rice. Scatter with some chopped fresh mint and serve with the lemon wedges.