20 April 2014

Lamb Kofta Mezze

It was a sunny Sunday & a friend over for lunch & I am very glad we made the most of that sunny afternoon; that I think everyone thought was just another sunny day in what appeared to be an endless Summer. Well Thursday’s weather put paid to that theory.  With no warning whatsoever we woke to gale force winds, torrential rain, toppled trees, roads flooded & power cuts!  We’d been hit by the tale end of cyclone Eta, she was certainly a fierce one & I am thankful we only caught the tail end!

And today it is Easter Sunday & we have Autumn showers, well downpour actually so I think facts have to be faced.  We had a very good run but I think Summer is indeed over.  So here is the last of the al fresco summer lunches for now

Lamb Kofta Mezze, adapted just a little from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, plus a few additions.

For the lamb koftas
400g lean lamb mince
1 tsp garam masala
Pinch cayenne
Olive oil
25g shelled pistachios, smashed in a mortar & pestle
1 tbsp runny honey
Salt & pepper

1 cup couscous
½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 preserved lemon, skin only, finely diced
Salt & pepper
Drizzle of olive oil

Cos lettuce, roughly chopped
A few ripe cherry tomatoes
A few black olives, stoned
½ a red onion
½ a cucumber
4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
40g feta cheese

To serve
Pita bread, warmed
Beetroot dip*
Hummus (recipe over here)
Pickled onions**
Lemon wedges

*Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F. Peel 2 medium beetroot & cut in 2 wedges.  Place on a baking tray & drizzle with a little olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.  Leave to cool & then place them in the bowl of a food processor & add the juice of 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon each ground cumin & ground coriander, a pinch of cayenne & a bunch of mint leaves. Add a third of a cup of natural yoghurt, blitz & season to taste. 

** Thinly slice 1 small red onion & place in a small bowl & cover with half white wine vinegar & half water & leave for 30 minutes. Drain et voila vibrantly pink 


For the lamb koftas

Place the mince in a large bowl, add the garam masala & cayenne pepper & season with salt & pepper. Mix it all together by giving it a good squish with your hands & then shape in to little fat fingers.

Heat the olive  oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat & add the koftas, turning them until golden all over & cooked through. About....... Drain the fat from the lamb& toss with the smashed pistachios & honey. Place on a platter with lemon wedges to serve.

For the couscous, place it in to a medium sized bowl & add 2 cups of boiling water & leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Once the couscous has absorbed all the water fluff it up with a fork & add the mint, chilli & preserved lemon.  Season with salt & pepper, drizzle over a little olive oil & mix well.  Place in serving bowl.

Place the lettuce on a serving platter & scatter over the tomatoes & olives.  Peel & coarsely grate the onion & cucumber in to a bowl & add a pinch of salt.  Squidge it all together to get rid of any excess water & scatter that over the salad too. Mix the yoghurt with the lemon juice & season with salt & pepper & drizzle it over the salad.  Finally crumble the feta over the top.

Serve it all with warm pita, beetroot dip, hummus & some pickled onions.

Warm pita, smeared with a little hummus or beetroot dip, a little salad, a little kofta topped with a little pickle makes for a tasty bite, especially when eaten in some late summer sunshine.

If you like this you might like this Chard & Kale Falafel



  1. What a fantastic looking spread! It's a good thing you made the most of the good weather last weekend -I tried to go for a walk today and had to turn back because of the sudden downpour :(

  2. Another fresh and tasty looking lunch Mairi. It looked like Auckland really took a hit. By comparison we got off very lightly. Having wanted some rain to spruce up the garden I am now well and truly over the downpours!

    1. Thanks Julie, probably the last one al fresco for a while.

  3. This is very interesting, the way you describe it.
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