Summer 2021

Spiced Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki and Persian Salad Recipe

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Serving: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Lamb koftas served with tzatziki and persian salad


For the tzatziki:

Half a cucumber

300g Thick greek yoghurt

Small handful of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

Small handful of dill, leaves picked

Half a lemon, zested and juiced

Half tsp Maldon Salt

For the koftas:

500g Lamb mince

Half red onion, finely diced

1 Tsp cumin

1 Tsp smoked paprika

1 Tsp chilli flakes

1 Tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tsp runny honey

Pinch of Maldon Salt

15g Coriander, finely chopped

For the persian salad:

1 Red onion, finely sliced

Half romaine lettuce, shredded

15g Parsley, finely chopped

15g Coriander, finely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

Half lemon, juiced

1 Tsp sumac

To garnish:

50g Pomegranate seeds

Fresh mint, leaves picked

Pomegranate molasses, optional

Toasted pitta bread


Koftas (or Köfte) is a Middle Eastern dish comprising of meatballs made from minced meat, onions and a variety of spices. The word ‘kofta’ derives from the Persian phrase ‘to beat’ or ‘to grind’, which symbolises the grounding of meat used to make this ancient dish.

Our recipe for lamb kofta kebabs has a ‘fiery’ twist, as we add the spices and seasonings of cumin, smoked paprika and chilli flakes to give the dish some warmth. We also add a drop of runny honey to bring sweetness to the koftas, which is elevated further with a generous pinch of Maldon Salt.

We make a delicious salad to go with the lamb koftas – a Persian salad!

What is a Persian salad?

A Persian salad has a similar taste to a Greek salad, but it does not contain feta or any dairy in that sense! The dressing for the Persian salad is made of simple ingredients, including olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. We added a handful of parsley and coriander to add further depth to the dish. You can learn how to make the Persian SaladHow to make the spicy lamb koftas…

  1. Firstly, prepare the kofta mixture. In a large bowl, mix together the lamb mince, chopped red onion, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, ground cinnamon, runny honey, Maldon Salt and chopped coriander.
  2. Mix well so it is evenly combined. Use your hands to press and seal small koftas (2 on each) around each skewer until you have 8 skewers.
  3. Place them in the fridge to firm up while you prepare the rest.

Tzatziki dip…

Tzatziki is a refreshing and simple dip that originates from Greece. It is made by combining thick yoghurt with cucumber, fresh herbs (mint and dill), garlic (optional), a generous splash of lemon juice and a final pinch of Maldon Salt. It is served with grilled meats like kofta to achieve the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. You can also pair the dip with cold appetizers, such as falafel, or as a creamy dressing for a salad.

  1. Half the cucumber and scrape the seeds out, then use a box grater to coarsely grate the cucumber.
  2. Place the grated cucumber into a fine sieve and use your hands to push and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  3. Place the cucumber into a large bowl and add the Greek yoghurt, chopped mint and dill, lemon zest and juice, Maldon Salt and some cracked black pepper.
  4. Mix it all together and set aside in the fridge.

How to make a Persian Salad…

  1. Prepare the Persian salad by finely dicing the red onion, lettuce, parsley and coriander into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate, small bow, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, Sumac, Maldon Salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly until everything is combined together.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  4. You can serve it immediately with the lamb koftas or let it rest for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to settle in.

Cook the lamb koftas and serve…

  1. Heat up the BBQ or alternatively, place it under the grill in the oven. Once hot, cook the koftas for 4 – 5 minutes on each side until dark golden brown and slightly charred.
  2. Serve the koftas with the Persian salad, Tzatziki, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
  3. Have some toasted pitta bread on the side.
  4. Finally, drizzle the koftas with some pomegranate molasses, if desired add a last pinch of Maldon Salt.

What to serve with lamb koftas…

The best side dishes to serve with lamb koftas are recipes authentic to the region!

Baba ghanoush is a smoky, very creamy eggplant dip that pairs perfectly with the spicy lamb koftas. The flavoursome Middle Eastern dish comprises of roasted eggplant, tahini and garlic which compliments the very bold, fiery flavours of the koftas.

If you are struggling to find the ingredients to make a baba ghanoush, why not stay simple with green new potatoes instead? New potatoes are delicious and provide a gentle sweetness when boiled or roasted. The tender interior and slightly crispy outer allows a perfect contrast to the fiery flavours of the spicy lamb koftas.

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