Lamb koftas with golden beetroot slaw

Photographer: Emma
Serves 4-6

The latest craze in our kitchen is Middle Eastern food.  If it doesn’t contain pinenuts or pistachios, coriander or cumin, tahini or tamarind then we’re not interested!  What I find most appealing about this style of cuisine is its generous use of spices, fresh herbs, nuts and vegetables and they way in which they marry with each other, and more often than not, lamb.  I have never been particularly keen on minced lamb but I must admit I am now a convert.  So in this recipe I celebrate all the things I love about Middle Eastern food.  And just as a side-note I implore you to find golden beetroot if you can, it is the colour of sunshine and lends a beautiful sweetness and crunch to this dish.


Lamb koftas
500g lamb mince
50g pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 tbsp harissa paste
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
Flour to dust

Golden beetroot slaw
1 red onion, finely sliced
100g medjool dates, cut into quarters
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 golden beetroot, grated
Handful coriander, leaves removed from stalks

Tahini sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini paste
100ml yoghurt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Salt & pepper to taste

To serve
4-6 pita pockets


Lamb koftas
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and using clean hands give them a good mix up. Shape into oval about the length of your thumb.
2. Roll each kofta in flour to coat. Once all koftas have been rolled in the flour heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry kofta in batches so that they are browned on all sides and cooked through.

Golden beetroot slaw
1. Place the onion and dates in a bowl with the vinegar and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Add the beetroot and coriander to the onion mixture and pour over the olive oil. Mix well.

Tahini Sauce
1. Combine all ingredients and mix to form a smooth paste adding more tahini or lemon juice to achieve desired consistency.