Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lamb or Beef Kofta with Harissa & Cous Cous

This recipe is from BBC's Good Eats but has been tweaked for our tastes as well.  This is one of my all-time favorite meals.  I could eat this every day.  No joke.

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 50g / 3.5 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g / 2 cups lamb or beef mince
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 20g pack mint, most leaves chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 150ml / 2/3 cup natural yogurt to serve

  • 300g / 1.25 cup couscous
  • 50g / 3.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp harissa - shop-bought or see below, to serve
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Spices such as chilli, cumin, coriander, cinnamon to taste
  • Optional additions: sultanas, chopped almonds or pine nuts, diced dried apricots, diced fresh tomato, diced and sautéed courgette/zucchini and aubergine, etc.
  1. Heat a heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the spices to the pan then toast for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Crush using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp water and the garlic and stir well. Add the lamb/beef, lemon juice, crushed spices, egg and most of the mint. Season well. Mix well then shape into 16 balls. Chill for a good 30 mins.
  3. You can do the kofta in a George Foreman-type grill or, if on the cooktop, heat oil in a frying pan and fry the balls for 6-7 mins, turning now and then, until golden brown and cooked. Keep warm. Put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then add the garlic, oil and harissa.  Mix well. Pour over 400ml (1.5-1.75 cups) boiling water, cover and leave for 10 mins. Fluff up and season with your optional spices and additions. Shred the remaining mint, then mix through. Serve with harissa and yogurt. 

Serve with a pita or flatbread.
How to make your own homemade harissa

Put 2 tbsp each coriander, fennel and cumin seeds into a hot, dry pan. Toast for 2 mins until fragrant. Grind until fine in pestle and mortar. Wipe out pan, add 50ml / 3.5 tbsp olive oil, gently fry 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped red onion, 1 chopped red pepper and 6 fat red de-seeded chopped chillies until soft. Mix spices and veg in food processor and blend to smooth paste. Leftovers will keep in fridge for up to a week, covered with layer of oil.

Per Serving (serves 4): 
651 calories, protein 33g, carbohydrate 50g, fat 37 g, saturated fat 16g, fibre 0g, sugar 2g, salt 0.84 g