- 1/2 onion (65g), peeled and very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used olive oil)
- 900g minced lamb
- 1/2 preserved lemon (replace with juice and finely grated zest of 1/2 organic lemon if you cannot find)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
- 2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout spice mix (replace with 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg if you cannot find)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Sautee the onion and garlic. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for about 4 minutes, until translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Puree the lemon. Scrape away and discard the pulp from the preserved lemon, so you’re left with just the rind. Rinse to remove any excess salt. Transfer to the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the egg and blitz until smooth. (If you do not have a food processor, then finely chop the lemon).
- Combine the ingredients. Tip the preserved lemon mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the onion and garlic, and then combine all the remaining kofta ingredients, except for the mince (ras el hanout, cumin, sumac, salt, pepper and parsley leaves). Mix well using a wooden spoon. Use your hands to crumble in the mince. Still using your hands, break up the meat and work the seasoning into the mince. Keep kneading the mixture for a few minutes, until it holds together well.
- Shape the koftas. Divide the kofta mixture into eight equal balls. Use your hands to roll each ball into a cigar shape on the board. If they are too crumbly, then work the mixture some more. Place the koftas on a tray, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- Cook the koftas. Pre-heat your oven grill. Once hot, grill the koftas for about 10 minutes, until browned. Turn only once, halfway through cooking. The lamb will release fat, so turn on an extractor fan or open a window to avoid setting off any smoke alarms. If there is excess fat at the bottom of the grill pan, tilt and drain when you turn the koftas to prevent fat flare. Alternatively, fry in a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Do not turn a kofta during the first minute of frying, as the cooking side will not have sealed and so will stick to the pan.
- When done, remove from the grill and leave to rest for 5 minutes, covered by a double layer of tin foil.
- Transfer to a plate and serve hot.