(or Kofta. Or Kufta. It's your pick!)
Kefta is a family of dishes of spiced ground meat, often lamb or mutton, found in middle eastern, south and central Asian, and Balkan cuisine. The name comes from ancient Greek, in which "sar-kofte" for "meat-minced" and was shortened to just "kofte" or "kefte". Another version of the origin of the word kofta comes from Classical Persian kōfta (کوفته), from the verb kōftan (کوفتن), "to pound" or "to grind", reflecting the ground meat used for the meatballs rather than cubes of meat.
The kefta can be shaped into a ball, or into a longer, thinner shape. It can be cooked in a gravy or sauce, or baked or fried without a sauce. Cooked on a skewer, it's a great summer dish, served with spiced rice and in-season vegies. The spices used reflect the common flavors of the area, and this recipe has a bit of middle eastern flavor. Change, add or delete seasonings, shape it however you wish, and cook it the way that reflects your good taste!
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
skewers if grilling; if bamboo, soak in water
Mix all ingredients together. Shape into about 28 small balls or "fingers" using your hands, or use a small ice cream scoop or a melon baller. If baking, place on a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. For frying or grilling, it can help to refrigerate the mixture to help it hold together, for 30 minutes or no more than 12 hours, before cooking,. If frying, heat oil in pan, and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side. If grilling, insert onto bamboo skewer (or you can form the balls around the skewer and then refrigerate, if you prefer) and cook about 7-9 minutes, turning occaissonally. For each method, cook meat until done throughout.
Spiced rice, tabouleh, or pita bread are traditional accompaniments. A yogurt dill or yogurt cucumber mix is great as a dipping sauce. Grill skewers of summer squash, tomato, sweet peppers, sweet onions or your favorite grill-able vegies to complete the meal and you're all set! .
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