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Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki

Lamb Koftas are delicious and silly easy to make. This is simple food at its best.

Serve with pitta bread and tzatziki and if like me, you love Greek salad, add it as a side dish.

Lamb Koftas
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Lamb Koftas

I love both Greek and Turkish food and I find that I already have most of the spices and so apart from the fresh produce I'm all set to go.

Kebabs are my favourite, especially homemade Doner Kebabs and I'm pretty sure I could live on Moussaka and Pastitsio!

Spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika are used in other popular cuisines such as Mexican food and we do love a good Chilli con Carne and so I always have them in my cupboard.

What are Lamb Koftas?

Koftas refers to a dish made with spiced ground meat (mince). Sometimes it’s made on skewers as in this recipe but they do also come without using skewers and are shaped like a torpedo, or round like a football.

Typically, they are stuffed inside flatbreads with fresh salad or pickled vegetables and sauces, although they can be served with a simple salad.

Tzatziki

Start by making the tzatziki. Put the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve and drain over a bowl for at least 1 hour but longer if you can. If you don't do this, your tzatziki will be watery.

Draining the grated cucumber

How to make Lamb Koftas

Mix the spices and herbs with the lamb mince. Season and fry a tiny amount so you can taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Lamb kofta mixture in a bowl

Divide the mixture and shape around your wooden skewers.

Lamb koftas ready to grill

Mix the drained cucumber and the rest of the tzatziki ingredients together in a bowl.

If you don't like dill you can use mint instead; or a mixture of both! Just be sure to only add the fresh herbs when you're ready to serve or they will discolour.

Tzatziki in a bowl

Grill the koftas, get the pitta bread ready and whip a Greek salad and you're all set to dive in!

Greek salad

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Lamb Koftas Recipe

lamb,koftas,kebab,recipe,tzatziki
main,dinner,lamb
Greek
Yield: Makes 6
Author: Jan Bennett
Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki

Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki

Top tip! Start by preparing the cucumber - see below.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 Mininactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 20 M

Ingredients

  • 6 skewers - if using wooden ones soak in water for 30 mins
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander 
  • a pinch of chilli powder
  • 1 red chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (or very finely chopped)
  • fresh coriander - chopped to make 3 tablespoons
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Tzatziki
  • 150g Greek yoghurt - I like the brand 'TOTAL'
  • ½ cucumber - deseeded and grated
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • a splash of white wine vinegar - or you can use lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt - to taste
  • fresh dill - chopped and enough to make 1 tablespoon
Prepare the Cucumber
  • Put the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve and drain over a bowl for at least 1 hour but longer if you can. 
  • If you don't do this your tzatziki will be watery.

Instructions

  1. Put the minced lamb into a bowl and add the cumin, dried coriander, chilli, chilli powder and garlic.
  2. Try to distribute it evenly through the lamb along with the fresh coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Gently mix using your hands. Try to not over-mix the lamb will become processed and horrid looking.
  4. Take a tiny little piece of the mixture and fry in a frying pan, that way you know whether nor not you need to adjust the seasoning.
  5. Once you're happy divide the mixture into 6 and roll each one into fat sausage shapes.
  6. Thread each onto a skewer, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until you're ready to cook.
Make the Tzatziki
  1. Put the yoghurt into a bowl along with the cucumber, white wine vinegar (or lemons juice) a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  2. Only add the dill when you are about to serve or it will go brown.
  3. Give it a stir and have a taste - adjust the seasoning if needed.
To serve
  1. Pitta bread and Greek salad are all that's needed.
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Jan

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