04 Dec 2012

PREP 20mins
COOK 10mins


1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
1 red onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp sumac
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
400g lamb mince
1/2 bunch coriander
4 mint sprigs
1 lebanese cucumber
4 pita or mountain bread
3/4 cup (190g) hummus
3/4 cup (200g) thick Greek-style or sheep’s milk yoghurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 lemon cheeks

Tip: For extra-thick yoghurt, drain it in a sieve lined with muslin over a bowl or sink for an hour. To make a delicious soft cheese called labneh, drain the yoghurt for up to 24 hours, depending on how thick you like it. Drain it in the fridge in warm weather.

1 Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan on medium-high. Cook chopped onion for 2-3 mins. Add garlic, chilli and spices and cook for 2 mins. Cool. Add to mince with chopped leaves of 1 sprig each of coriander and mint. Season. Mix and shape onto eight skewers.

2 Drizzle kofta skewers with remaining olive oil. Heat a lightly oiled barbecue or chargrill on high. Cook kofta skewers for 2-3 mins each side, until browned all over and cooked through.

3 Using a large sharp knife, slice cucumber lengthways. Cut into long strips. Divide remaining coriander into small sprigs. Pick leaves from remaining mint sprigs.

Warm pita bread on barbecue or chargrill on high heat for 5 secs each side. Spread pita bread with hummus.

5 Top pita with kofta, cucumber, sliced onion and a dollop of yoghurt. Scatter with coriander and mint. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with lemon cheeks.

Gary’s secrets 
 • Shop around for the softest, most flavoursome pita. It makes all the difference and can be used for snacks, wraps, salads and Turkish-style pizza.

• Toast your own spices in a dry pan on medium heat for 30-40 seconds. Crush in a mortar, or fill a spare pepper mill with the spices instead.

• It’s okay to be fussy about mince. Find a butcher who will mince your choice of meat on the spot.

• A barbecue is not all about smoke and charcoal. Use medium heat and control the temperature. A gentle sizzle gives you time to enjoy your cooking and not fight the flames.


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Last modified on Monday, 03 December 2012 03:50
Gary Mehigan

Hi my Fellow Food Obsessed,
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