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Author Notes: In this speedy version of kofta I substitute a pine nut meal for longer cooking bulger. Grilling the kofta infuses the lamb with a slightly charred flavor that is tempered with a cool and tangy tzatziki sauce. Don't worry if you don't have a grill; I have included alternative cooking methods. - Food Blogga
Food52 Review: WHO: Food Blogga is a cookbook author and freelance food writer who lives in San Diego.
WHAT: Nutty, vibrant lamb meatballs and creamy-cool tzatziki -- eaten side by side or tucked into a pocket.
HOW: Mix ground lamb with onion, garlic, spices, and pine nuts, shape into balls, and grill. Load into pitas. Dollop with tzatziki.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These kofta -- which are bound with ground, toasted pine nuts -- have spice, heat, and texture. The tzatziki tames all that fiestiness. And when eaten smooshed into a pocket, with lettuce, carrots, and onions, you've got yourself an ideal lunch. - The Editors
- 1 cup plain Greek style yogurt, or regular yogurt, strained until thick
- ½ cup diced peeled and seeded cucumber
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, ground into a meal in a food processor
- 4 pitas, sliced in half and warmed (for a total of 8)
- optional garnishes include thinly sliced red onions, shredded carrots, and baby lettuce leaves
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients from lamb through pine nuts. Using your hands, mix well until smooth. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to overnight.
- When ready to cook, form lamb mixture into 1 ½ - 2-inch balls. Makes about 14-16 balls.
- Directions for grilling: Preheat grill to medium heat. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes prior to using. Place 4 balls on each skewer. Grill for 8-10 minutes, rotating skewers, or until the lamb is evenly browned and cooked through.
- Slide meat off skewers. Place 2 balls inside each half pocket; top with a dollop of cucumber yogurt sauce and any garnishes you desire. Eat immediately.
- If you don't have a grill, then you can broil, bake, or pan fry the kofta. Broil for 8-10 minutes, rotating skewers, or until the lamb is evenly browned and cooked through. Bake on 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, or until the lamb is evenly browned and cooked through. To pan fry, place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook kofta 7-10 minutes, flipping, until the lamb is evenly browned and cooked through.
- This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Lamb