Sunday, 27 September 2009

Spiced Kefta with Lemon

Kefta are Lamb meatballs, flavoured with Onions, Herbs and Spices. This is a North African dish and is a good one to try if you have friends round. You can serve the dish in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

You need:

450g Minced Lamb
2 Onions - grated or blitzed to a puree
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Fresh Chilli - finely chopped
20g Butter
2 tablepoons Olive Oil
25g Fresh Root Ginger - finely chopped
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley - chopped
25g Fresh Coriander - finely chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Lemon - quartered
300ml Cold Water
Salt and Black Pepper
Pinch Saffron if available - if not use Turmeric or Paprika for colour

In a large mixing bowl, add half the Onion to the Lamb, along with the Cinnamon, Parsley, Cumin and Cayenne. Season well with Salt and Pepper, then get your hands in there and mix everything well for about 5 minutes. Shape the Lamb into small balls - about the size of a walnut.

Take a heavy based pan (with a lid) and melt the Butter with the Olive Oil. Add the remaining Onion, the Ginger, Chilli and Saffron (or Turmeric/Paprika)if using. Cook gently until the Onions begin to colour, about 10 minutes, then add the Coriander and Lemon juice.

Pour in the water, then bring to the boil and add the Lamb meatballs. Reduce to a simmer and cover the pan. Poach the meatballs gently for about 20 minutes, turning every few minutes. Remove the lid, tuck the Lemon quarters into the pan and then simmer lid off fo a further 10 mins to allow the sauce to reduce.

Serve with fresh bread to mop up the juices, or with Cous Cous or rice.

Feeds 4

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