These little beauties are packed with fragrant herbs and spices, delivering big flavours in canapé sized bites. Back in our catering days, we served these at lots of weddings and they went down really well. Interactive food is always fun. Start by dipping the koftas in the tahini sauce, then into the nuts and spices (dukkah). All that flavour clings to the little koftas and makes for a delicious mouthful, smiles guaranteed. For a twist, pile them up in some large lettuce leaves and top with a zingy, crunchy salad for a tasty lunch. The tahini sauce was adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe, another of my food heroes.
Get ahead – They taste best fresh off the grill but are still delicious if chilled (for up to 2 days) then quickly reheated in a hot oven. The dukkah keeps for weeks in a sealed container at room temperature. The yoghurt can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ingredients – makes approx. 28 canapés
500g organic lamb mince – 20% fat
1 tsp each coriander and cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
7 large mint leaves, finely chopped
Large handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped.
Zest of one lemon, juice of ½
½ clove of garlic, crushed*
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (Give it a taste)
40g sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin
In a large bowl add lamb mince. Lightly toast spices, then grind in a pestle and mortar and add to lamb. Add remaining kofta ingredients, season carefully, then shape into 1” balls. Chill for 30 minutes**
For the tahini sauce, blitz parsley and garlic in a processor. Gradually add tahini, then 100ml water and lemon juice. Season carefully.
Toast hazelnuts in medium-hot dry pan for 4 minutes. Place inside folded tea-towel and rub back and forth to remove skins. Lightly toast remaining seeds and spices and add to pestle and mortar. Grind to smaller pieces (but not to a powder).
To cook kofta heat a griddle pan over medium heat. Add to pan and leave for 2 minutes or until you see golden crust appearing around edges. Flip and repeat. Keep turning for around 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
* Finely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with a little sea salt. Turn the knife to a 45 degree angle and scrape the garlic against the chopping board, repeat until finely crushed. Your garlic crusher is now obsolete!
**A few tips to prevent the koftas coming apart – Keep the mixture fairly dry, ensure that they remain cold until the moment they go in the pan, let them form a good crust before attempting to flip them, avoid moving them around too much whilst cooking.