In my previous post, I wrote about my first time dining at a Lebanese (or Middle-eastern) restaurant, Al Aseel. I had ordered the "Mixed Plate", comprising an array of dips and a three types of grilled meats on skewers - chicken, lamb and kafta. I wasn't a fan of the chicken as I found it a little dry. The lamb was not bad, but my favourite was the kafta.
Kofta generally refers to savoury balls of ground meat (or vegetables, potatoes, lentils etc) mixed with spices, herbs or other ingredients. In Lebanese cuisine, it's called kafta and is usually made with ground beef, allspice, parsley and onions. I decided to make a lamb kofta kebab instead by placing the lamb mince on skewers and then grilling them on the barbecue. You can use either beef, lamb or a combination of both.
You may serve this with some Lebanese bread (or any flatbread), hummus and tahini sauce with tabouli as a salad. I also made some beef kebabs which is simply taking some good quality beef steaks (I used scotch fillet), cut into chunky cubes and skewered with alternating onions (or use bell peppers). Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling them on the barbecue. Serve together with the bread, dips and salad.
Lamb Kofta Recipe
500g lamb mince
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or substitute with chilli powder), or more to taste
Vegetable oil for brushing
6 metal skewers
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except oil) and mix well using your hands until it becomes pasty and sticks together. Refrigerate for an hour until firm. This makes it easier to skewer the meat without it falling apart.
Take a handful of the mixture and "mould" it onto the metal skewer to form a long sausage-shape. Try to do this in one go and not move the mixture around the skewer too much. Otherwise it might not stick onto the skewer properly. Repeat until you finish the mixture.
Prepare a barbeque grill. Brush some oil over the lamb skewers and place them on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until it's charred outside. Once cooked, transfer onto a serving plate. Serve immediately with pita bread, dips and tabouli.