I know what you are thinking, CHEATING!!! MOI??? I know I know it is so very unlike me, I am advocat for cooking from scratch as it is all I know, cheating is not normally in my vocabulary. It has however been brought to my attention that in this busy world that we live in, not all of us make the time to cook a meal from scratch and microwaves are fast becoming our best friends. If there is a way that we can take a few time saving short cuts, but still enjoy a home cooked meal what's the harm?
Once a week I venture to a store in my home city that is fast becoming my favourite little hotspot. It is the Indian and continental store in Hull, it is run by two very young guys who seem to have a real grip on produce, filling their store with an array of exotic ingredients, both fresh and dried, that fill me with inspiration and joy. Although it might not be the largest store, what they lack in space they make up for in spice, each corner like an aladdins cave for all foodies everywhere. For most people such ingredients could be daunting if you do not know what you are looking for, but the assistants on hand only make it too easy to shop there with helpful advice and tips for even the most novice of cooks. I was recommended to use a particular spice blend by Shan for Seekh Kabab bbq mix, something that I would normally do myself, but I was totally entrigued and thought that this could be the cheats ingredient I have been searching for. I have to admit that even whilst I was preparing it I was slightly jubious, it absolutely blew my mind, the level of spicing was perfect, it's 100% all natural ingredients and it took no more than five minutes to prepare. The results where outstanding.
Yes I put my own twist on the directions but it really worked. So I would hugely encourage people to use this spice blend, and if you live near Hull, this shop is absolutely worth a visit, tell them I said hello from Annikas Apron!
You will need:(for the Koftas)
450g of lamb mince
2 Tbsp of Shan seekh Kabab bbq mix
half a red onion
5 large garlic cloves
a thumb sized piece of ginger
1 tbsp of oil
3 tbsp of chopped dill
3 tbsp of chopped mint
3 tbsp of chopped coriander
1/2 tsp of maldon salt
In a pestle and mortar bash the ginger and garlic to a fine paste using the salt as an abrasive. Blend the onion in a food processor or grate the onion. Finely chop all of the herbs. Place the ginger garlic paste, lamb mince and herbs into the food processor with the onion mush, add the oil so that it blends thoroughly. When it is throughly mixed shape them into long sausages around metal skewers, this should make four large koftas. (yes they do resemble poop)
For best results leave them overnight to let the flavours infuse, if you have no time and simply cannot wait place them under a very hot grill until they are charred on all sides and cooked through, this should take 10-15 minutes.
For the Kofta dip:
10 tbsp of Labneh (a middle easter thick yogurt) or thick greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tsp of maldon salt
a small handful of chopped fresh mint, dill and coriander
2 finely chopped spring onions
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar using the salt as an abrasive and add to the labneh or yogurt. Add the herbs, cumin and finely chopped spring onions and mix well. in the words of Gordon Ramsey DONE!
For best results serve with hummus, crisp salad, sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes and pickled green chillies, wrap it all up in lebanese flatbread or pittas.
My mouth is watering!