Lamb kofta with muhammara

Neil Perry
Crowd pleaser: The kofta will disappear quickly when there's a crowd around.
Crowd pleaser: The kofta will disappear quickly when there's a crowd around. Photo: William Meppem

Fancy something savoury? Be tempted by easy-to-prepare lamb kofta, accompanied by muhammara, an addictively spicy red pepper dip.

Ingredients

For the kofta

1 small red onion

800g lamb shoulder, minced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1½ tsp sea salt

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

½ tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

½ cup toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

olive oil, for pan frying

For the muhammara

4 red capsicums, roasted and peeled

salt and pepper

½ cup walnuts, toasted

½ cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, approximately

½ tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp cumin

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper

4 tbsp olive oil

Method

FOR THE KOFTA, coarsely grate the onion into a fine sieve and press out excess liquid. Place the onion and all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Roll mixture into cylindrical shapes about 7cm in length. Place in the fridge to chill.

FOR THE MUHAMMARA, roughly chop the roast capsicum flesh. Place in a blender along with remaining ingredients except the oil and blend to a paste. Occasionally turn off the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure a smooth, even paste. With the processor running, add olive oil slowly and blend until the oil is completely incorporated.

PLACE A LITTLE oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the kofta until golden brown. Do this in batches, with each batch taking about 6-8 minutes to cook, depending on how you prefer them done.

SERVE THE KOFTA on a platter with a bowl of muhammara on the side.