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Grilled Lamb Koftes

By June 22, 2015 , , , , , , ,

This dish has been a staple BBQ dish of mine for years and it's one that never fails to impress. The trick is getting the meat mix to stay on the skewer, it's something I used to make with friends and it used to be quite a laugh watching people trying to get the meat to stay on the skewer. It took me quite a while to master the art myself, sometimes I gave up and made lamb burgers instead.

To cook these you need to ensure your BBQ or grill is pretty hot to get the right amount of charring as it adds to the flavour. I like to serve these with flat breads or pita. These can also be served in smaller sizes as a party snack.

300g lamb mince
2 teaspoons ground cumin or cumin seeds roasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander seeds  ground
1 tsp chilli flakes or very finely chopped fresh chilli
2 scallions or 2 shallots very finely chopped, you can also grate the shallot
1 tablespoon coriander stalks finely chopped
1 clove garlic grated
Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together, and leave for a few hours or preferably overnight to allow the flavours to come together
If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for a few hours in water before you put them on the BBQ, otherwise they will burn
To make the koftes, make sure your hands are cold, it makes it easier to form the shapes on the skewer, take a small amount of the mix, form a ball and then put a skewer through the ball and then start to form a sausage shape around the skewer, it takes a bit of practice to get it right.
Once you've made the koftes, place back in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow them to firm up
If you don't fancy making the koftes, you can make burger or meatball shapes with the mix

You can cook this on the BBQ, in a frying pan or under the grill. 
For BBQ set up for direct heat at 220c
Just 2 minutes each side, you don't want to overcook it
Place the cooked koftes to one side covered in foil to allow them to rest before eating.

I like to serve this with a Tzatziki style dip, which works well with the koftes

200ml greek style yoghurt
Bunch coriander (50g) roughly chopped
Small clove garlic grated
Half  a cucumber, seeds removed and discarded 
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice

You can also add a small amount of dill or mint (goes well with lamb) for added flavour if you like, not too much, as they can over power the dish

Grate the cucumber and then place in a sieve and sprinkle with salt (not too much about half a teaspoon), this helps extract excess moisture from the cucumber
Allow the cucumber to sit for an hour or so for the moisture to come out
In a separate bowl, place the yoghurt, garlic and coriander and mix well, place in the fridge to allow the flavours to come together
Squeeze out the excess moisture from the cucumber and add to the yoghurt mix
Mix all together and then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

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