Growing up in Beirut in my teens, my moms cooking embraced local ingredients and traditional recipes - at least for the everyday. Practical and healthy stews of vegetables, braised meats, sides of rice...made their way to the table.
One of the weekly staple was Kafta and French fries. Kafta or Kofteh as you know it - obviously so many ways to prepare and season it - but she makes it with onion, fresh parsley, basta! I personally love garlic, although hard to digest, but add half or a full clove in the meat mixture, and a hint of paprika. Since I also adore a salty-lemony taste, I drench my cooked Kafta with lemon juice in the pan after cooking the meat, to collect all of the juices, which makes the most wonderful zingy sauce...Aïe Aïe Aïe!!!!
Don't be lazy on this one trying to get the food processor out, don't. The onions need to be chopped by hand, super fine. Even if it is a pain, that's how they will retain their juice and make for a juicier Kafta. Same for the rest of the ingredients.
Make in 15 minutes
- In a mixing bowl, knead together the ground lamb, parlsey, onion, garlic, cumin and salt by hand. Mix as little as you can, as soon as all of the ingredients are combined, you can start forming the kaftas. This is very important, if you use a food processor your kafta will be hard as a rock and dry.
- Using a tablespoon as a rough measure, consider 1 tablespoon of meat for each kafta. Place the meat in one hand, lightly close your fist to get the finger marks on the meat and set aside.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, drizzle a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil, to coat the bottom of the pan - over medium-high heat.
- When the olive oil is very hot, carefully drop in the kafta, and fry no more than 2-3 minutes on each side.
- As soon as the meat is cooked, squeeze the lemon all over it, twirl the pan around and serve/eat immediately.
- 300g of lean ground lamb
- 1 small onion, very finely minced
- 1/2 to 1 garlic clove , very finely minced
- A generous handful of fresh parsley, leaves picked from the stems, washed and very finely chopped
- A pinch of cumin
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced in half
- Sea Salt