Kofta b’siniyah with green rice

Kofta b’siniyah with green rice 


Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, and since I last cooked for that matter! I’ve been working long/late/hard hours at the office, and then, in complete contrast, spent a week doing sweet F.A on a beach in Portugal. Both weeks meant I didn’t have the opportunity to cook once, and I really missed it! I was planning this dinner before I even jumped on the plane. Having spent a lovely, relaxing week in Portugal, eating nothing but the freshest grilled fish straight from the sea (heaven), I had to admit I was slightly missing meat, spice and the normal herby grainy salads I normally select. I have, however, made a vow to eat more fish – not that flacid supermarket ‘fish’. I’m on a mission to find me a good fishmongers somewhere in South London. I’m sure it can’t be too hard?? Any suggestions welcome. I’m particularly keen to get my hands on some good fat prawns/langoustines and clams.



Side salad – a pretty large one at that!

But back to the meat. This kofta recipe is chosen, naturally, from my trusty Jerusalem book. He did it again. I’ve barely altered his recipe at all as I wanted to see his take on these lamb-based torpedo meatballs. The only tweak I made was replacing the allspice with  a few ground cloves, as I’d run out.And as for sides – you could go for a nice flatbread, or plain rice, but I wanted FLAVOUR and so decided to make a green rice accompaniment, that is delicate but with a touch of herby/onion goodness, and inspired by a recipe of Thomasina Miers’, she of Wahaca. Mexico meets Jerusalem.

I also wanted a ridiculously large, colourful salad to go with this dish, a marked change from the tomato-onion-lettuce salads I ate everyday on the beach alongside my grilled sardines. I just sliced and grated a plethora of different vegetables and served it with any very simple yoghurty vinaigrette.

For the koftas:

The kofta recipe below serves 6(ish!)

400g minced lamb
500g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
A large bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
50g toasted pine nuts, plus extra to garnish
1.5 tspn cinnamon
8 cloves, ground
0.75 tspn grated nutmeg
1.5 tspn black pepper
1/5 tspn salt

For the kofta sauce:

100g tahini paste
3 tbspn lemon juice
200ml water (approx)
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tbspn rapeseed oil
1 tspn smoked paprika


1 – Preheat to the oven to 220 degrees
2 – Mix all of the ingredients for the koftas together well in a large bowl using your hands

3 – Divide the mixture into 20 portions and shape each in an elongated oval, or torpedo; set aside onto a plate
4 – Prepare the sauce by whisking the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and paprika; add enough water gradually until the sauce reaches the consistency of thin honey
5 – Begin frying your koftas in batches, for about 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned, adding a little rapeseed oil if they stick

6 – Transfer the par-cooked koftas onto a large oven dish and set in the oven for a remaining 2-4 minutes until cooked through
7 – Spoon the tahini sauce into the bottom of the oven dish once the koftas are cooked and return to the oven for a minute or 2 to heat up the sauce
8 – Remove, scatter over the reserved pine nuts and parsley and sprinkle over the paprika; serve immediately

For the green rice:


(Serves 6)

500g long grain rice, washed thoroughly
1 tbspn rapeseed oil
1 large handful of coriander
1 large handful of parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 shallots, chopped roughly
2 spring onions, chopped
salt, pepper


1 – Blend all of the ingredients except the rice together, adding a little water if necessary to form a smooth paste

IMG_6776 2 – Transfer the paste into a saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes, just to take the bite out of the onion and garlic, and then stir in the rice

3 – Pour in enough boiling water to just cover the rice, stir well and cover with a lid; simmer on a low heat for around  minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the rice to steam for another 6 minutes or so, until perfectly cooked

Serve the rice alongside the koftas and a lovely shredded salad – yum!



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