Beef kofta and basil salad

The kofta is part of the meatball family and a common dish served in South AsianMiddle EasternBalkan, and Central Asian cuisine. Whether served in curry over rice in India or in flat bread in the middle East, I love the aromatic spices and moist texture of the kofta. 

My secret to keeping it moist is milk-soaked bread. A little Greek secret. Koftas served with a yoghurt and basil sauce is a great combination, breaking through the meat's richness. A great quick weeknight dish. 



Ingredients

Kofta:
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon mint
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt (flat not heaped)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 slice bread
  • dash milk
  • 1 tablespoon spring onion

Salad:
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 10 olives, pitted and quartered 
  • 100g feta
  • 1 cup lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup hot vegetable stock

Dressing:
  • ¼ cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup basil
  • ¼ garlic clove
  • dash of oil to loosen the dressing (depends on how thick the yoghurt is)

Method:
  • To make the kofta cover the slice of bread with milk (enough to make it soggy)
  • Crumble up the bread and add the beef, mint, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, cumin, lemon and spring onion – mix until well combined
  • Roll out koftas, approximately 4cm x 2cm
  • Put the koftas in the fridge to firm up
  • Meanwhile heat a pan and once hot, cook the koftas for approximately 3-4mins per side or until cooked through
  • To make the salad put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and add in the hot stock, cover with a lid or plate for approximately 5 minutes
  • Fluff up the couscous with a fork and let cool
  • Chop the tomato and olives
  • Pour the couscous on a plate and cover with lettuce leaves, tomato, olives and feta
  • To make the dressing place the basil, garlic and oil in a food processor until well shredded, add the yoghurt and blitz until combined
  • Add the koftas to the salad and cover with the basil yoghurt dressing and a little olive oil
A quick, easy and cheap weeknight meal. You don't have to use couscous. You can use quinoa or brown rice. Plus you can throw on some roast pumpkin and beetroot if you have a little more time. 



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