Greek lamb koftas

26saves
55min


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Pan-fried lamb meatballs make a delicious filling for warm pita bread pockets, packed out with a crisp cucumber and leafy salad. Serve with cherry tomatoes.

Zoë Harpham

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • 350 g extra lean minced lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups (100 g) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup (30 g) chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, flat-leaf parsley and mint
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 50 g rocket
  • 6 large pita breads
  • 1 lemon, cut into six wedges
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (85 g) low-fat natural yogurt

Directions
Preparation:40min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. To make the kofta, put the lamb in a large bowl and break it up with a wooden spoon. Add the egg, garlic, oregano, thyme and onion and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and use your hands to mix well.
  2. Have a large board or plate ready, then roll the lamb mixture into 24 even walnut-sized balls. Flatten the balls slightly on the palm of your hand to make small patties, about 5 cm across and about 1 cm thick.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the koftas, nudging them up to each other — they should just about fit, as they shrink as they begin to cook. Cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until browned underneath, then turn them over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the patties again and cook for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, and turning the patties once more, until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the chopped fresh herbs with the spring onions and rocket. Warm the pita breads in a toaster or under the grill, turning them once.
  5. Slit the pita breads open and place four koftas in each. Add some cucumber slices and herb salad and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Drizzle with yogurt and eat at once.

COOK'S TIP

The kofta can be prepared a day or two in advance and refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to cook them.

EACH SERVING

1 portion vegetables

VARIATIONS

Ring the changes — try minced pork with sage, or minced chicken or turkey with tarragon. * Instead of filling pita breads, roll up the kofta and salad in wraps. Spread the yogurt over the wraps first. * The cooked kofta could also be tossed with 2×400g cans of chickpeas, 200g halved cherry tomatoes and the herb salad, then topped with cucumber raita.

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