Kofta b'siniyah
Lamb / Summer / Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi / Serves: 6

150g light tahini paste
3 tbsp lemon juice
120ml water
1 medium garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp sunflower oil
30g unsalted butter or ghee (optional)
sweet paprika, to garnish salt

400g minced lamb
400g minced veal or beef
1 small onion (about 150g), finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
50g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped, plus extra whole ones to garnish
30g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
1 large medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground allspice
¾ tsp grated nutmeg
1½ tsp ground black pepper
1½ tsp salt


Finish the dish with the butter only if you are serving it straight away. Otherwise, leave it out as it sets quickly. Serve with pita and cucumber and tomato salad.


Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Ebury Press, 2012

Put all the kofta ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well.
Now shape into long, torpedo-like fingers, roughly 8cm long (about 60g each).
Press the mix to compress it and ensure the kofta is tight and keeps its shape.
Arrange on a plate and chill until you are ready to cook them, for up to one day.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7.
In a medium bowl whisk together the tahini paste, lemon juice, water, garlic and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
The sauce should be a bit runnier than honey; add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if needed.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and sear the kofta over a high heat; do this in batches so they are not cramped together.
Sear them on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes for each batch.
At this point they should be medium-rare.
Lift out of the pan and arrange in an oven tray.
If you want to cook them medium or well done, put the tray in the oven now for 2-4 minutes.

Spoon the tahini sauce around the kofta, so it covers the base of the tray.
If you like, also drizzle some over the kofta but leave some of the meat exposed.
Place in the oven for a minute or two, just to warm up the sauce a little.

Meanwhile, if you are using the butter, melt it in a small saucepan and allow it to brown a little, taking care that it doesn't burn.
Spoon the butter over the kofta as soon as they come out of the oven.
Scatter with pine nuts and parsley and finally sprinkle some paprika on top.
Serve at once.