Be careful when handling the kofta mix - you need to gently squeeze it into sausage-shaped pieces around the skewers. Make sure it is firm and compact to avoid it crumbling and falling apart. It's worth investing in the special flat skewers, used in Turkey and the Middle East, which seem to help the process. The onion salad can be served raw if you don't have time to sauté the onions.
- 500 gm minced lamb
- 2 white onions, coarsely grated
- 1 cup each of (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley and mint leaves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp each of ground cumin and coriander
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- To serve: warm Arab or Greek-style flat bread
- 300 gm basmati rice (1½ cups)
- 1 kg tomatoes, coarsely grated into a bowl, skins discarded
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp whole cardamom
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp white sugar
Sumac fried onions
- 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
- 2 white onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sumac
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1Combine lamb, onion, herbs and spices in a large bowl, season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well using your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Divide mixture into 6 and mould each portion into a long sausage shape around a metal skewer. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- 2For tomato rice, rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clear, transfer to a saucepan, add remaining ingredients and season with sea salt. Add enough water to just cover the rice, bring to the boil over medium heat, stir, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.
- 3For sumac fried onions, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and sauté for 12-15 minutes or until soft and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- 4Preheat a barbecue to medium heat. Drizzle kofta with oil and cook, turning occasionally, for 6-7 minutes. Serve immediately with tomato rice, sumac fried onions and Arab or Greek-style flatbread.
Drink Suggestion: Fruity McLaren Vale sangiovese.