Whether you call them kofta, köfte, kufta or keftedes, there’s no escaping that these tiny, spiced meatball morsels are utterly moreish. Kofta can be found in various guises stretching all the way from North Africa, to the Med, and all through the Middle East.
Beef is used, goat too, and of course my all-time favourite, lamb. Now you could use store-bought lamb mince, but I prefer making my own. It’s so easy – and you get to feel just a teeny-tiny bit smug. Simply pop prime leg of lamb cubes in your food processor and give it a whirl. I turn up the heat by adding a generous helping of eat.art’s spicy North African harissa. Once fried, the warm, juicy koftas get piled high onto freshly-baked flatbreads. To offset all that lamb richness, I give it a loving dusting of marvelously tart eat.art Turkish sumac to end.
FOR THE FLATBREAD
2 cups bread flour
½ tsp eat.art Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp runny honey
1½ tsp dry yeast (5g)
⅔ cup (175ml) lukewarm water
extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE LAMB KOFTA
500g lamb leg cubes, minced in your food processor
1½ tsp eat.art North African harissa
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp very finely diced red onion
¼ tsp eat.art Himalayan pink salt
extra virgin olive oil, for frying
1 tub full cream cottage cheese
micro rocket leaves
packet of radish, finely sliced
eat.art Turkish sumac
eat.art Cyprus flake salt
Add all the flatbread ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Tip out onto a surface generously dusted with extra flour and knead for 10 minutes. (If it is very tacky, dust with a bit of extra flour.) Place the dough ball in a large bowl painted with olive oil. Cover with cling film and allow to prove for 30 minutes. Knock back, divide dough into two balls and place them on a baking sheet painted with olive oil. Paint dough lightly with oil as well, cover with cling film and allow to prove for another 20-25 minutes. (Preheat your oven to 210 degrees Celsius while it’s proving for the second time.)
Place dough balls on a flour-dusted surface and roll out into two large circles. If you like the flatbread chewy, roll it out to about 1cm thick. I prefer it crisp, so I roll it out as thinly as possible – about 3mm.
Place each dough circle on a baking sheet lightly painted with olive oil. Paint the top of the dough with oil as well and pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until baked through and golden. (If you rolled it out thicker, it may need a few extra minutes.)
To make the kofta, simply mix together all the kofta ingredients. Use a measuring spoon to scoop out even amounts of meat (I think tablespoon-size is perfect) and roll into little balls. Fry over medium heat in olive oil. I like them a little bit pink in the middle, but this is once again personal choice.
When the flatbreads come out of the oven, spoon over the cottage cheese. Top with the kofta, the radish and the micro leaves. (This really is at its best if the kofta have just come out of the pan, so try to plan your prep so they fry while the flatbread is baking.) Crumble over a pinch or two of eat.art Cyprus flake salt, and dust the lot generously with eat.art Turkish sumac. A drizzle of those lovely harissa-flavoured olive oil pan juices is not a bad idea either. Tuck in straight away.
This recipe makes two generous flatbreads and should serve 4 as a meal, and more as a snack. The operative word here of course is ‘should’!
Written by: Lizet Hartley
Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at http://www.melkkos-merlot.co.za