Mini lamb koftas that are bursting with glorious textures and the flavour of pomegranate molasses, almonds, zaatar and dried mint.
Whether you served them as an appetizer, on a salad or stuffed in a pita or even a North African themed sub you are gonna love these tasty morsels.
Minced Lamb Kofta Meatballs.
I love playing around with different ideas for meatballs, the name for me usually makes me think of spaghetti and meatballs. Probably thanks to Garfield as they certainly played no part in my food development growing up in the UK.
These spiced lamb koftas are very different though! They are a spin on my Moroccan beef meatballs and share some flavours.
They get a nutty almond flavour and all important texture from almonds.
The main flavouring elements are zaatar a glorious herb and spice mix, dried mint and a bit of chilli.
You absolutely need these two bite morsels in your life pronto!
Frequently Asked Questions.
I thought kofta came on sticks?
Not always, cooking things on sticks helps you flip them over when they are cooked under a broiler or over a barbecue. I use them for dishes like my chicken tikka kebabs to my BBQ pineapple chicken kebabs.
But these Lamb koftas of kofte are meant to be fried pretty quickly in a pan. The kebab sticks will provide no assistance and to be perfectly honest, they would get in the way.
Can I substitute pomegranate molasses for regular molasses?
No, pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice and a bit of sugar, it has a sour and slightly sweet taste. Regular molasses is the by-product of sugar refining and it has a bitter flavour.
If you cannot find it in your local supermarket it should be available from a middle eastern or even Turkish store. You can even make homemade pomegranate molasses.
Can I use beef?
Sure why not, the flavours will work just fine with beef, however avoid lean beef, no one likes dry kofta! Go for something with around 20% fat content.
I’ve left this dish deliberately open in terms of serving suggestions because it is so versatile.
I’ve served it here with some roasted butternut squash seasoned with zaatar and sumac and some pearly couscous tossed through the pan the lamb koftas were fried in.
You could thrown them in a green salad or even use my Moroccan vegetable tagine as a side for them.
But we are not done, oh no! Reduce the size of the kofta balls by half, stick them on sticks and serve them as nibbles on sticks.
And of course you can stuff them inside pita with a salad and top with tzatziki.
If you come up with any new uses shout them up in the comments and I’ll add them here!
Mini lamb koftas are kinda meatballs in all but name, perfectly moist spiced balls of minced lamb featuring almonds, pomegranate molasses, zaatar, chilli and dried mint.
- 325g (11.5oz) Minced Lamb
- 100g (2/3 Cup) Onion
- 35g (1/4 Cup) Almonds
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tsp Chili Flakes
- 1 Tsp Dried Mint
- 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- 1 Tbsp Zaatar
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- Place the onion, pomegranate molasses, garlic, pine nuts, chili flakes, and dried mint into a blender and blitz to a paste.
- Add this paste to the lamb and then season generously with salt and pepper and zaatar. Frying off a small patty and having a taste will help you with seasoning perfectly.
- Roll the mix into 10 balls, they will be around 50g in size, wet hands will help keep them smooth and stop them from sticking.
- Place them in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to rest. They are great left overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
- Heat a wide based nonstick pan over a high-medium heat and when hot add the oil.
- Add the koftas to the pan and sear until nicely coloured on one side, this will take 3-4 minutes.
- When nicely caramelised flip them over and reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 70°C or 160°F.
The internal temperature for lamb is the official recommended safe temperature for minced lamb or beef.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 664Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 884mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 46g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.