Conjure up a Kofta for last week of Ramadan
It’s a popular Middle Eastern dish served in eateries across the UAE. Why not turn up the heat and try
impressing friends or family with your own version...
Last week we used a lamb shoulder as our culinary journey took us to Morocco and a mouthwatering starter of Harira soup.
This week we are on our travels again, heading for Lebanon and a local speciality which has proved popular all over the region.
Once again we are using a Middle Eastern favourite of lamb to make another dish.
Chef Tamer Abdelnabi, from InterContinental Dubai Festival City, has chosen Kofta bil Sinya for this week’s main course.
Again, it’s a step-up in terms of technique from our first main course of Shrimps Makbous.
And it will broaden the horizons of any budding chefs out there hoping to add that authentic flavour of the Middle East to their repertoire.
Fat is a burning issue in diets and cooking, but Chef Tamer urges any first-timers to think differently when it comes to your kofta.
He explains: “When you go to the butcher counter at your supermarket, don’t forget you need a little bit of fat in the lamb. Ask your butcher to leave a little of the fat in - you will need this because if you try grilling lamb with no fat it will become hard and dry. While we wanted lean lamb for last week’s soup, it’s really no use for a kofta.”
Budding MetroLife cooks should plan ahead when cooking this Kofta dish too.
Chef Tamer says: “For the perfect Kofta you would ideally mix the marinade, the parsley, cumin and others, together with the lamb for stage one, perhaps one day before cooking and keep it in the chiller. Two hours is an alternative, but for a real authentic taste try to mix it the night before.”
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>> 500g lamb shoulder minced
>> 80g chopped red onion
>> 150g potatoes
>> 2 peppers
>> One carton of fresh tomato juice (Chef Tamer recommends Lacnor brand)
>> 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
>> 1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
>> 1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
>> 1 teaspoon cumin powder
>> 1 teaspoon paprika, salt
>> 4 tablespoons olive oil
>> 1 litre corn oil for frying potato
>> Don’t forget a deep frying pan
STEP 1) Add the minced lamb, chopped parsley, some salt and pepper, cumin powder and paprika powder into a mixing bowl. Use clean hands to mix the kofta well, until all the ingredients are mixed evenly together.
Then mould the kofta mix into a medium-sized burger shape.
TIP: Use the rim of a cup as a template to cut the kofta into perfect burger sized shapes.
STEP 2) Heat one teaspoon of corn oil in a hot pan and fry the kofta for two minutes on both sides.
STEP 3) Prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then sauté the chopped onion and garlic. Add the chopped fresh coriander until it is soft, then add the tomato juice, some seasoning to taste and simmer for 10 minutes.
STEP 4) Peel and cut the potatoes into slices and cut the fresh peppers into rings. Using a deep frying pan, fry the potato in corn oil for five minutes until they are half cooked.
STEP 5) Use a heat-proof tray and place the kofta at the bottom, add the fresh pepper and then place the potato on top. Drizzle with tomato sauce and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180c.
TIP: If you have a charcoal grill at home use it to grill the kofta, as it gives your dish an additional charcoal flavour, increasing the authentic taste.