Kofta meatballs are one of our favourite things to eat. There are three very good reasons why I say this: Firstly, they are fantastic. Just amazing, mouthwatering, delicious, juicy and spicy in a middle-eastern way that I love. Secondly, they’re normally cheap to make and they are filling and (again) delicious. Thirdly, you can prepare a whole batch of minced meat and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days if you want, then you only have to make the meatballs and get ready for another great time at home thinking about your last trip to Turkey, Lebanon, Greece or whatever else they make these precious little gems from meat-eaters heaven.
Ingredients (serves 8)
For the Kofta
· 1 kilo of lamb meat (also beef works), minced. Get a good quality lamb meat with a good percentage of fat, at least 20%, as it will render inside the meatballs and make them extra-juicy.
· 1 handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
· 1 handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
· 5 or more garlic cloves, very finely chopped or grounded
· Grated nutmeg, 1tsp
· Grated allspice, 1 tbsp
· Grated black pepper, 1 tsp or taste
· Cumin powder, 1 tsp or taste
· Salt. 1 tbsp or to taste
· 1 egg or a splash of cold water
For the tzatziki
· 1 cup of yoghurt with a nice fat content if you like, although a lighter version also works fine
· 50 grams of cucumber (about 1/3 of a good-size one)
· Red chilli to taste
· Fresh coriander
· 1/2 ground garlic (dry garlic powder also works fine and it gives it a softer taste)
· A pinch of cumin powder
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste
For the koftas
Place the mix in a mixing bowl or spread it on your counter. Make a little whole in the center and place there the egg of the splash of water.
Add the herbs and spices all over the meat and mix it all well but carefully. You don’t want to start melting the fat in the meat.
Wrap it in a cling film and place the beautiful mix in the fridge for at least 1 hour, so all the flavours blend together beautifully.
Take the mix out of the fridge and quickly make the koftas in any shape you like. We love to have them in this patty shape and serve them family-style, dipped in the tzatziki. Small shaped koftas are better to share a great food moment with family and friends.
Once you have the koftas shaped and they’re still cold, just quickly sear them on a skillet at a medium-high heat. You don’t want to cook them all the way through, just to give them a nice caramelisation on the outside. 2 or 3 minutes will do.
Place those babies on an oven rack or plate and bake them for 6-7 minutes at 180ºC / 356ºF. This will finish the cooking and melt all that delicious fat into the meatballs. Happy times.
Serve them family-style along with the tzatziki and get ready for a great time!
For the tzatziki
Mix all the ingredients together and… well, that’s it. Good, uh?
Enjoy with a green tea, cold beer or a nice white wine and Salud!
PS. If you want to let me know your thoughts on the recipe or to share how much fun you have had preparing it / eating it, just go ahead and leave a comment! Thanks!