The word Kofta comes from the Persian کوفته or kufte which simply means pounded meat. The first appearances of Kofta were in early Arab cookbooks.
One of the oldest cookbooks, dating to around the year 1200, lists a wide variety of köfte, with some variations calling for meatballs as small as hazelnuts. The closest version to the modern köfte was referred to as “ahrash.” This recipe calls for the tender meat of either a lamb or a calf to be ground finely and seasoned with oil, pepper, cinnamon and coriander. A little bit of flour is added to hold the mixture together, and it is then formed into a flat loaf.
Other sources say that köfte was influenced by Iranian dishes of the early 13th century, a time when Turkish dynasties – such as the Ghaznavids, Seljuks and Khwarazmians – ruled over the region.
Köfte is said to have become popular as means of using up spare pieces of meat and ultimately became one of the Ottoman Empire’s most famous dishes. In the 15th century, a particular variety of köfte became very popular in the kitchens of Topkapı palace, perhaps due to a 14th dietary guide that claimed köfte was “a useful dish that gives vitality.”
Above from dishesorigin.com
This classic Kofta recipe comes from Chef Adam Gray and is a classic take on this middle eastern favourite
1kg Ethical Butcher 100% pasture raised regenerative lmb mince
200g Red onion - finely chopped
3 Large cloves of garlic – finely chopped
40g Curly parsley - finely chopped
1 Red chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
2 tsp Ground mixed spice
1 tsp Ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
½ Bunch of fresh mint – leaves removed from the stems
50g Low fat natural yoghurt
50g British rapeseed oil
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands.
Weigh the lamb mixture into 120g pieces and shape into torpedo shapes and chill.
Skewer each lamb torpedo with a bamboo stick and chill until needed.
Cook on a hot barbecue or griddle pan.
To make the cucumber salad
Peel the cucumber into fine strips with a peeler and place in a bowl. Discard the middle seeded part.
Finely chop the mint leaves and mix with the natural yoghurt and the rapeseed oil
Season the yoghurt mixture with salt and pepper.
Coat the cucumber strips in the minted yoghurt
- Serve in a grilled flatbread