The recipe for these delicious Lebanese meatballs is from my latest book, The Cook's Garden. They are excellent served hot with drinks before dinner. Provide toothpicks so it’s easy to pick them up and put the raita in the centre of the dish.
- onion - 1 small, peeled and finely chopped
- fresh ginger - 1 knob, approx 3cm, peeled
- garlic - 2, peeled
- green chill - 1 small
- minced lamb - 500g, lean
- fresh coriander - 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
- green onions (shallots) - 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
- ground fennel - 1 tablespoon
- plain flour - for rolling
- olive oil - for frying
- natural yoghurt - 200g, Greek-style
- Lebanese cucumber - 1 small, seeds removed and diced
- fresh mint leaves - 1/2 bunch, chopped
- small white onion - 1/2, finely chopped
- lemon or lime - juice, a squeeze
For the meatballs, put the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli into the blender with a little water and blend until they are almost liquified.
Combine the onion mixture together with the remaining ingredients and season to taste.
Shape into walnut-sized balls, roll in flour and then fry in hot oil. When cooked, remove the koftas and drain on paper towels.
For the raita: put the yogurt into a bowl. Mix through the cucumber, mint and onion. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and combine well.