Lamb Kofta Lollipops

A sunshine sharing dish that works indoors or out, these juicy lamb koftas are going to be the star of the show at our BBQ this afternoon. 

Koftas are a traditional quick, tasty sharing dish in families right across the Middle Eastern region. The word originally comes from an old Persian word meaning 'to grind', and everyone thinks their mum/granny does it best. Today at our place, the grown-ups are having theirs with big salads, salty olives and crunchy toasted pittas but B and friends will be having their koftas as little lollipops with a creamy dunking dip.

There's a lot of protein here in the lamb and Greek yoghurt (it contains more than regular plain yoghurt). Red onion and cucumber bring easily-digested soluble fibre and vitamins C, K and B1, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Cumin adds aromatic depth, and is known to contain phyto-nutrients that have a powerful antioxidant effect. And parsley might seem a bit ordinary but nutritionally it's anything but. Full of micronutrients, I use it as a vegetable rather than just a flavouring herb. 

Finely dice half a small red onion and throw it into a bowl with a generous handful of minced organic lamb, a squished garlic clove, a teaspoon of cumin and six finely chopped leaves of parsley. With clean hands, mush everything together and form little lollipops around little wooden sticks or metal teaspoons (you'll slide the meat off the stick before serving, or leave the spoon to cool and serve it still attached). You should make three or four, depending on size. Lay the lollipops onto a hot BBQ or place onto a hot, flat pan that's been lightly greased with olive oil to prevent sticking. Turn and cook until meat is completely cooked through. Meanwhile grate an inch or so on cucumber on a box grater and mix with a couple of tablespoons organic plain Greek yoghurt. Let the meat cool to a safe temperature then remove from sticks (or leave on cooled spoons) and serve koftas whole with yoghurt to dunk OR mash the kofta into the yoghurt and serve by spoon, depending on where you are with the teeth situ.