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Thrifty Sisters: Kofta

This month, Meltem Baykaner serves up Kofta as a way to use that leftover, stale bread.

Traditionally eaten as a staple food in several countries across the world, bread takes many different forms, designs, flavours and sizes. But how many of us find sitting on our counters a stale slice, a hard roti or pita, or even a few lonely crumbs left at the bottom of a bread bag? Well past their ‘best before’ but not quite at their ‘expiration,’ you might not be sure of what to do with these leftovers except throw them to the birds. However, those precious pieces can be used immediately (or frozen for later use) in delicious recipes, such as the mince patties (or koftas) below, that are sure to be a firm family favourite for everyday meals and parties alike!

 

Mince Patties (koftas)

Makes 16

Ingredients
• 500g lamb, mutton or beef mince
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 egg
• 1-2 hand-sized pieces of bread, broken up or processed into fine
crumbs
• Handful of chopped parsley
• 1 tsp salt, or to taste
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ¼ tsp red chilli powder (optional)
• Handful chopped fresh mint (optional)

 

Method
Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Combine ingredients by hand, mixing thoroughly and continuously for about 2-3 minutes until the seasonings are distributed throughout the meat.

 
Fill half a small bowl with cold water. Dip your fingers into the water and with your wet fingers, pull a large meatball-sized amount of meat mixture from the bowl, patting it into a round or oval shape, about a centimetre thick.

 

Place on a prepared clean tray or plate and continue to do this, until you have approximately 16 small-medium sized koftas. Cover the tray or plate with cling film and put it to the side.

 

Using a non-stick frying pan, drizzle a small amount of oil on to the pan and place on a low heat on the stove. Once the pan is heated, carefully place each patty in the pan, making sure there is at least a few centimetres gap between each one so that the pan is not overcrowded.

 

Turn the heat up to medium and if you prefer, place a lid over the pan to stop the spitting. After around 7 minutes (or when the underside of the patty has become nicely browned), turn them over and cook on the other side for the same amount of time.

 

Once cooked, remove to a plate and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut one open to check that they are cooked all the way through if you are unsure.

 

Serve in a burger bun, with rice or in a pita with lots of salad – and enjoy!

 

Variations
You can also try this recipe with chicken or turkey mince – just omit the egg and be sure that the patties are cooked thoroughly.

 
If you don’t have parsley or fresh mint at hand, coriander works wonderfully – as does any other fresh or dry herb! Feel free to experiment by adding your own flavours such as ginger, cumin or even garam masala.

 

Meltem Baykaner Khan lives in London. She has a degree in English literature and loves to read, as well as write articles. She also has a collection of cookery books that she enjoys reading cover to cover.