Monday, July 20, 2015

Lamb Kofta with Avocado Tzatziki

Living in Dubai I'm surrounded by amazing Middle Eastern restaurants (Lebanese, Persian, Turkish, Egyptian, Moroccan and obviously Emirati). In fact, I'm sure I could eat at a different restaurant every day for lunch and dinner and it would take years to try them all. When I first moved to Dubai, a typical dinner was 2 shawarma sandwiches from the little stand across the street. I loved the fact that I could get a meal for less than 10 AED ($2.75).  Plus, the grilled meat and garlic sauce and fluffy fresh bread was amazing.

Time passed and I realized that gluten wasn't my friend and more recently came to understand the effects of nightshades on my joints, so shawarma was obviously off the menu. A couple of times I would try the kofta or lamb kebab at a local Lebanese place, but there was always a lurking fear of nightshades and in most of these places, communication about ingredients isn't the easiest thing.

So, after yet another attempt of eating out, worrying about the spices and other ingredients in the kebabs and knowing that the chicken was probably marinated in yogurt, I decided it was time to make a Lebanese meal that I could eat without fear. That's when the idea hit me. . . LAMB KOFTA. Ground lamb is easy to come by and grass fed (score!), they're flavored with herbs and garlic which are always a plus in my book and you usually get to dip them in something which always makes for a fun meal.

Lamb Kofta

Serves: 3-4 (makes 8 pieces)
Time: 25 minutes

- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves
- 2 T chopped mint leaves
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1/2 t sea salt

- Place all ingredients except lamb and sweet potatoes in a food processor and pulse until chopped finely and well mixed
- combine herb mixture, lamb and sweet potatoes in a bowl and incorporate all ingredients together
- heat a grill pan or skillet over a medium heat 
- form lamb mixture into 8 sausage shapes (3-4 inches long)
- heat olive oil in the skillet or grill pan and add kofta
- cook on each side for about 3 minutes - total of 12-15 minutes cooking time (until lamb is cooked through and no longer pink)
- if you have an indoor grill pan, these work great on that and probably grill well on outdoor grills (I don't have one)
- serve with lemon wedges, cucumber slices and "Avocado Tzatziki".... recipe below

Avocado Tzatziki
Serves: makes about 1 cup sauce
Time: 5 minutes

- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 haas avocado 
- 1 1/2 small cucumbers - about 1 cup chopped
- 2 T chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 t sea salt
- juice of 1 lemon

- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth
- Serve with lamb kofta. It's also good with plantain chips, as a topping on baked salmon, on burgers, or with any number of other foods.

Products that I recommend for this recipe are:

**This recipe was shared on Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday & Allergy Free Wednesday