One of my favourite memories of eating Lebanese food was a chance stroll down Edgware Rd very late one night a few years ago now. My husband and I used to work hospitality jobs in London and would often finish way past midnight. One of our favourite things to do afterwards was walk around the empty city, taking in the sights and getting a bite to eat in busy late night cafes.
It was on one of these walks that we stumbled upon Edgware Road, where you can find some of London’s best Lebanese food. Having very little knowledge of this cuisine I had no idea what to order and wanted everything, and if truth be told I don’t remember what I had – I just remember thinking I have to eat this again.
Luckily for me I lived in Shepherd’s Bush at the time where there was one of the best kebab shops that ever was – and for those of you lucky enough to grace the doors of King Solomon’s, I’m sure you share my sadness at its closing. The falafels, the garlic sauce, the crispy lettuce and the warm flat bread hold the fondest of memories for me.
Now, living in Coburg (Melbourne), I am surrounded by some of the best Middle Eastern shops and restaurants. This spicy kofte recipe is, as always, non traditional and a hotch potch of cuisines, but it’s mighty tasty and super easy.
See this dish as part of a MEAL PLAN
Makes: 10 kofte
Prep time: 25 minutes
Oil for frying
500g lamb mince
1 egg yolk
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp harissa
1 tsp dried mint
2 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
2 cups chopped spinach
1 whole long red pepper
1/4 green capsicum
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 Lebanese cucumber
To make the kofte combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and form into 10 balls.
Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat with a touch of oil – canola/coconut/ghee are all good because they can take high temperatures, avoid olive oil or butter. Fry the kofte until they have a crispy outer and are cooked through (7-12 minutes). Rest them beneath some tin foil on a warm hob until ready to serve.
Meanwhile chop the salad ingredients – I like to go with long thin strips or julienne if we’re being fancy! It’s up to you how you chop them, but the smaller the better so the dressing coats all the vegetables.
To make the dressing whisk up together the lemon, oil, pomegranate molasses and harissa until well combined. Add the dried mint and pour over the vegetables just before serving.
Any crisp crunchy salad vegetables – white onions, chili, cos lettuce, radishes…
A cool dollop of yoghurt
Something pickled – gherkins, radishes, chillies
Garlic sauce! It’s an absolute must with Lebanese food. Go the extra mile and make the real stuff. Recipe @ the food blog