Koftas are basically meatballs but can be made using lots of different ingredients. If you are new to cooking or just feeling a bit hesitant about trying new dishes, koftas are the one for you as they are super quick and easy to make.
This recipe is strongly inspired by my time spent working on a farm in New Zealand. New Zealand is famous for it farming and agriculture, lamb being one of it’s top exports. Naturally, living and working on a farm, you get hungry and thankfully my hosts shared my passion for food too and were constantly creating wonderful dishes. Lamb meatballs were one of Melissa’s signature dishes so here is my take on her tried and tested recipe.
This kofta recipe is a version for all: meat lovers, vegans and vegetarians. Or if you are a meat lover and want to add some more flavour, why not try a 50:50 version of mince to lentils? Koftas are extremely versatile once you have something to bind the ingredients together with like minced meat or blitzed lentils. The extra additions to add flavour, spice or colour are all up to you.
Breadcrumbs or blitzed oats can be used as an additional binding agent but are not essential if you don’t have them to hand. The only advantage is that breadcrumbs or oats provide a more sturdier kofta in the end.
Koftas go well simply on their own, dunked in a hearty tomato sauce, cooled off in a cucumber and yoghurt dip or added to a salad or pitta like falafel.
- 500g minced lamb/beef or 200g raw green/brown lentils
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp brown pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 100g feta cheese, diced (vegan option: tofu)
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 eggs, beaten (vegan option: 2 tbsp milled linseed & 5 tbsp water)
- 100g breadcrumbs or blitzed oats
- If using lentils: rinse under running water and cover with 450ml water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Blitz the lentils until smooth in a food processor.
- Preheat an oven to 180°C and lightly oil a baking tray.
- Place the lentils or mince in a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until well combined.
- With damp hands, roll 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time into a golf ball shape. Place on the prepared tray and continue with the remaining mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot or allow to fully cool before storing in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- When using from the freezer, allow to fully defrost before reheating.