Indian Lamb Koftas for Summer Feasting
It’s mid March and I keep mouthing the very words that you do. No, not “how on earth did I get here?” but the fascination that time does not stand still enough for one to enjoy that iced coffee without it starting to melt. So, you suck harder on that straw. And poof, two and a half months of the brand spanking new year have litearlly evaporated.
Please check in with me this time next year. I suspect this is a pattern repeated with equal measure regularity and surprise.
I find myself restless again. It’s a thing I battle with. I’m not sure if it’s specific to March, but it’s visiting me now. I’m busy, and I’m grateful for opportunities but I’m doing the deep breathing followed by languid sighing. A slight distraction and the extra effort is required to pull myself back into focus. It is particularly easy when I feel like this, to dip into daydream land and to ask those open, evocative (read: terrifying) questions about life and its meaning, about purpose and why afternoon teas are not more of a serious sport. It’s a wonderful time for creativity, if one had the time to indulge.
I’m back to being in the classroom during art class, staring out the open door, the one class during which I could tear my attention away from the words and formulas, and dream about countries unknown, people I’d never seen, food I’d never eaten, all the while moulding clay with my hands.
I live in my head. I’ve had to accept and embrace it. It’s been the most challenging but internally rewarding aspects of my personality.
A dish that I could probably make whilst daydreaming, because it is so familiar are these Lamb Koftas (just not during the pan frying part). I originally prepared the recipe here: Mrs Reddy’s Spicy Lamb Meatballs. In essence kofta translates to meatball, though the shape varies throughout the Middle East and South East Asia.
Mediterranean Delicacies approached me to craft a range of recipes to showcase some of their products. I have been buying their products for a long time, and they fit in well with the style of foods I enjoy preparing. We decided to inject a little spice to things, and I made these koftas using really beautiful lamb mince from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and I toasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves and a few cardamom pods. Once finely ground in a spice grinder, I added them to the mince. It’s not essential to add them to the mix, as originally this was intended as a quick recipe, but it adds glorious fragrance and flavour.
500 g lamb mince
1 small onion, finely diced and fried till translucent
handful coriander leaves, chopped finely
1-2 large red chill chopped finely
1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander powder
4 T dried breadcrumbs
1 large free range egg
salt, to taste
Spray n Cook/ grease a large baking sheet.
Mix all the ingredients together using a fork or your hands in a large bowl.
Roll into medium sized balls.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius on lower rack but not lowest.
In a pan on the stove with a tablespoon on vegetable oil, fry koftas to brown and seal on high heat. A minute should be sufficient.
Bake koftas on the baking tray for 8 minutes till done to your liking.
Serve with Mediterranean Delicacies tzatziki and coriander and lime pesto (made using Mediterranean Delicacies pine nuts and olive oil)
Suggestion: Arrange in a pita with griddled courgette strips and these dips for a quick and filling picnic meal.
Coriander & Lime Pesto
60 g pine nuts
30 g coriander, discard hard stalks
1 spring onions, chopped roughly
1 small clove garlic
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 small limes zested and squeezed
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a bowl using a stick blender, pouring the olive oil in a steady stream until a smooth consistency is attained. Adjust seasoning. If you prefer a thinner pesto, add more olive oil.
Keeps two days in the fridge – though it never keeps more than an afternoon in our house.