Kofta is a general Middle Eastern to Indian term for grilled ground meat—usually mixed with other things. You may form the meat mixture into balls, loafs or stuff it into something—leaves, vegetables, whatever. What you flavor/add to the meat, and what you do with it then, is limited only by your own imagination. Koobideh is the Persian name for kofta made with beef or lamb, although I have frequently known it to be made from beef and lamb in the local Persian restaurants. Today, wife Jan asked for koobideh meat balls with rice for dinner. The traditional Persian accompaniment to the meat is steamed rice, called chelow.
Category Archives: Lamb
My sister came for a visit and I told her that I was making kūbide—a Persian mixture of lamb and beef with sumac that is grilled and usually served either plain with rice or bread. I was rather free with my ingredients and—when I started to write up the recipe—I realized that what I had ended up with could not really be called kūbide—which is a specific kind of Persian kofta.
Easter is here and—for my family—this means lamb. The question is which flavor? Greek lamb—my usual choice—is out, because daughter Miriam is off garlic and onions. Thirty years ago, we visited Kashgar in the far west of China. Shashlik and Naan is a popular meal in that city. Meat and bread call for a salad and a traditional Xinjiang dish would be a tomato and cucumber salad.
We have had company for the last several days, so I wanted a Sunday dinner that was not hours of preparation. An American standard meal of meatloaf, potatoes, and green beans seemed like a good idea. Of course, I could not make it that simple I had to get spontaneously creative.
Since daughter Miriam became sick with something that gives her a lot of food restrictions Sunday dinners have become a challenge. Trying to find/create recipes that do not include garlic, onions (or anything else in the leek family), peppers (of any kind), and light on tomatoes is almost unimaginable. Fortunately these are still a lot of herbs and spices that she can still eat.
I love stuffed breads, whether you call them a samsa, a pasty, a samosa, or a bierock. While making them can be a lot of work—you are first making some kind of stew, letting it cool, making the dough, and then filling the dough with the stew, before baking them all together—the payoff is well worth the added labor. Packet breads are a convenient, grab-and-go meal for lunches and I usually get two, or even three, meals for three people out of one recipe.
The first time I made bierock—German pocket breads—I made it the way it would be done in Germany, with a minimal ingredients list—mostly beef, onions, and cabbage. Wife Jan was unimpressed. She found a Volga German recipe with a fair amount of spices added—these she liked much better. Jan then had a fancy—What if a Volga German traveled east on the Silk Road to Kashgar. What kind of bierock would he make then?
I am making Greek lamb for my 65th birthday. I decided on stuffed artichoke caps—as the hot vegetable—and a Greek salad as side dishes. The kids are still on their keto/Atkins diet, so I had rolls for the starch eaters. For dessert, Jan made another variation of my mother’s chocolate mousse.