These succulent spiced lamb meatballs are quite unusual as they are combined with split peas (chana dhal) and rice and then simmered lightly in a rich sweet/sour broth which is utterly heavenly. The word Kofta, or Kufta or Kooftah comes from a Persian word meaning “to pound” or “to grind”, and is referring (obviously) to the ground meat used for the meatballs. Recipes of this dish differ here and there and I do like to add fresh as well as dried herbs sometimes depending on what I have available.
They are quite light and naturally very healthy as less meat it used and the addition of the lentils and rice adds softness and a unique texture. Its a simple meal that has a sophisticated flavour and is one those dishes that can feed a crowd easily and economically.
Remember to double or triple the recipe depending on how many guests you have – and I like to make them slightly smaller and make more if I am serving them as part of a feast!
If you would like to see a video of me making these meatballs just click here:
3 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 vegetable stock cube
6 dried apricots finely chopped or whole.
1 litre water
250g Minced lamb or beef or a mix of the both
1 onion chopped
½ tsp ground turmeric, cumin & coriander each
½ tsp black pepper
4 tbsp barberries soaked and drained (optional – Olive Branch Deli in Kloof st sell them)
2 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp dried tarragon & dill each
2 tbsp chickpea flour
70g Thai Jasmine style rice parboiled
50g Yellow split peas parboiled (Chana Dhal) – nb. you can leave out – it won’t “break” the recipe and I have often made them without – but it does certainly add something. To parboil – boil in non salted water for 20mins till al dente