There are so many different varieties of Kofta or meatballs in different cultures but one thing is basic- Koftas are simple, familiar and happy food; something that has memories and associations for everyone.
The word”kofta” is from kuftan in Persian. Kuftan means “to beat” or “to grind” or meatball. Koftas are made in many shapes, long like Cigars, flat like patties or round like tennis balls.
It’s important to get good, fresh mince meat for Koftas …a lean cut from the shoulder is best for lamb mince. Adding an egg keeps the mixture firm and maintain its shape during cooking…a slice of bread keeps the them supple and stops the meat from shrinking.
For this particular recipe, it’s IMPORTANT that you squeeze out all the water from spinach after blanching because any liquid inside the Koftas will make them lose their shape and even disintegrate.
For Lamb Kofta
1 slice of bread, crumbled
1/2 onion, peeled, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chilli peppers, chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil for frying
For Spinach Stuffing:
A pinch salt and pepper for spinach
This Is What You Do:
Remove stems from spinach leaves. Thoroughly wash spinach and chop roughly. In a microwaveable bowl add spinach and a little water( 2 tablespoons). Cover and microwave for 4 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze all the water out of it. You shall have about 1/2 cup of spinach now. Add salt and pepper and mix till everything is blended.
Divide the mince mixture into four portions, spread one portion over the palm of your hand, place one heaped tablespoon of spinach in the middle of it. Gather the mince mix around the spinach to make a round meatball or longish Kofta. Compress firmly to make sure Kofta is tight and will keep its shape. Repeat with all the mince.
Heat oil on medium heat in a nonstick or heavy bottomed frying pan. Place the Koftas in the pan. Let cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or till golden, flip and cook the other side the same way. When the outer layer of Koftas is sealed and slightly browned, reduce heat, cover the pan and let them cook for 10-15 minutes so that they cook through.
Serve hot with yogurt and your favourite salad on side.