Grilled Kofta with Tahini Sauce Recipe
This delicious recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook Jerusalem brings the flavors of the Mediterranean into your kitchen. We made these delicious koftas without the sauce, instead serving with tatziki, baba ganoush, hummus and a quinoa salad. They were incredible.
Although we didn’t have the pine nuts and just couldn’t bring ourselves to use the whole amount of cinnamon and allspice they were delicious. Next time I’ll follow the spice recommendations here for a more fragrant kofta.
With our amazing local 100% grass-fed beef from Skagit River Ranch and lamb from the Evergreen Students for Sustainable Animal Agriculture, nothing quite beats the flavor of these koftas. Add some beef and lamb to your next order and try this delicious recipe yourself.
- 1 pound minced lamb
- 1 pound minced veal or beef
- ½ cup onion, very finely chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
- 4 Tbsp toasted pine nuts, finely chopped, plus extra whole ones to garnish
- 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, very finely minced, plus extra to serve
- 1 large medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground allspice
- ¾ tsp grated nutmeg
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ tsp salt
- 8-10 skewers, soaked in water
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil (if pan frying)
- ½ cup light tahini paste
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 8 Tbsp water
- 1 medium clove of garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee (optional)
- sweet paprika, to garnish
- If grilling, get your coals white hot, you should be able to hold your hand for about 3-4 seconds over the grill when it is ready. Otherwise, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Put all the kofta ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix together until well incorporated. Taking a thick skewer, shape the mix into long, torpedo-like fingers, roughly 3-inches long, around the skewer. Press to compress them and ensure the kofta are well compacted since there is nor binding agent in them to help keep their shape (if pan searing just omit skewers). Arrange on a plate and chill until you are ready to cook them, for up to one day.
- To make the sauce, in a medium bowl whisk together the tahini paste, lemon juice, water, garlic and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt. The sauce should be a bit runnier than honey; add one or two tablespoons of water if needed, adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice.
- Over a hot grill sear koftas until well browned. Remove and cover with foil for 5 minutes prior to serving. If pan frying, heat the oil in a large frying-pan and sear the kofta over a high heat; doing this in batches so they are not cramped together. Sear them on all sides until golden brown, about six minutes for each batch. At this point they should be medium-rare. Once browned, arrange on an oven tray.
- If you want them medium or well-done, put the tray in the oven for two to four minutes. Otherwise, spoon the tahini sauce around the kofta, so it covers the base of the tray, but leave some of the meat exposed. Place in the oven for a minute or two, just to warm up the sauce a little.
- Meanwhile, if you are using the butter, cook it in a small saucepan and allow it to brown a little, taking care that it doesn’t burn. Spoon the butter over the kofta as soon as they come out of the oven. Scatter with pine nuts and parsley and finally sprinkle some paprika on top. Serve at once.
photo credit: joshbousel via photopin cc