Koftas are meatballs, made with onion and the fragrant spices of the Middle East and one of the wide range of foods from that part of the world that have now become more common in our diets – think pita bread, hummus, olives, dates, sumac, mint and yoghurt.
So, all of those things are comfortable bed fellows with a kofta, and here I’ve served them with pita bread, added the flavours of rosemary and lemon, and made a quick cucumber and yoghurt salad that will go perfectly with the meaty rich flavours of the koftas.
Otherwise, you can make your own – each country has its own variants and there are vegetarian and vegan options using potato or chickpeas as well as those using chicken, lamb or beef mince. So, take your base ingredient (about 130g per person), add a couple of teaspoons of your favourite spices (maybe cumin and coriander?) and some very finely chopped onion and form your koftas. They can be shaped into patties, balls or cigar shapes (a mouthful or two is the ideal size) and you will need to refrigerate them to firm them up for an hour or so, before you cook them.
That could be on the bbq, or you could grill or fry them. You want the outside to be well-browned and crispy, and the inside to be cooked – make one to sacrifice so you can cut it in half to double check. The ones in my photo were on the big side and two was easily enough per person.
Here’s the recipe for the cucumber salad. Enjoy!
½ red onion
1 clove garlic
2 apple cucumbers
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup raisins
handful chopped almonds
freshly-ground black pepper
pinch curry powder
- Finely chop the onion, garlic and dill.
- Cut the cucumber into bite-size chunks.
- Mix all ingredients up in a bowl and put in the fridge for at least an hour.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coastalflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome. You can find other recipes like this in my book, Coastal.