Lamb koftas make me think of two things; delicious family meals out at local barbecue restaurants and weaning.
Some of you guys know that my husband was made redundant back in December. We had a miserable Christmas. It was grim. I cried a lot and was angry and then felt kind of like superwoman, deciding I would save the day and work every single hour available and be all martyr like. Obviously this did not happen. The crying and the anger happened in buckets though.
But things are much brighter now. There’s one thing for sure about life. Bad times do get better. And actually there are lots of good things about him now working for himself. He sees the kids. I was going to write ‘sees the kids more’ but in his previous job he left before they got up and often came home after they went to bed. So him just seeing the kids is exciting. He gets to go to their concerts and assemblies and to tennis lessons. (My how I hate taking them to tennis lessons. Just me? It’s having a one year old side kick I think, who insists on trying to enter the male changing rooms every 2 minutes). And even better the work is now flowing in. He is busy. Hurrah! This does mean the crazy redecoration schedule we had planned has stalled a bit.
But the thing I am enjoying most about life getting back to normal is that we have a little spare money to spend on eating out together again. The first thing to go when he was made redundant was our habit of feeding the kids at the local barbecue joints that have sprung up all over Leicester. I love the simplicity of them; cheap and healthy and relaxed. And we all loved the lamb koftas. Juicy and smokey and tasty enough to require always ordering another plate. So whilst we were on out self imposed eating out ban I made lamb koftas at home. Except my lamb koftas had not just lamb in them, but also some sneaky parsnip. It makes them a tiny bit sweeter and also pushes the lamb mince a bit further. You can of course leave the parsnip out if you wish.
To go with my homemade lamb koftas I also started making my own hummus. So easy and actually rather satisfying. This one has beetroot in it, adding a slightly psychedelic hue to our platter of crudites and pitta bread. These days we’re back to eating out occasionally, albeit a little less than before. And these koftas are still popular at home.
Both recipes are perfect for weaning little ones. The lamb koftas are especially good finger food. Try squishing them in the palm of your hands to create a ridge in them; it makes them easier to hold. If you’re looking for a little advice on the weaning front then check out this video for Good Family Food where I answer a few common questions. (Including how to deal with tricky fussy eaters).
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 10 - 12
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 65g)
- 65g parsnip, peeled and grated (about half a medium parsnip)
- 250g Scotch lamb mince
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and grated parsnip for 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and tip into a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the oil and blitz until smooth. Carefully use your hands to form koftas by placing a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and closing your hands. (The koftas will have indents where your fingers meet making these easier for little ones to grip). You can wet your hands in cold water to make this easier if you wish. Fry in olive oil for 10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes to ensure they’re cooked evenly. Serve with strips of toasted pitta bread, crudités and some beetroot hummus. If you’re weaning with puree, simply blitz the cooked koftas in a food processor with the blade attachment or use a stick blender. You can add extra roasted vegetables if you wish. Portion into ice cube trays, freeze and then once frozen transfer into freezer bags.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 – 15 baby/toddler size servings, serves 4 adults and 2 children as a snack/starter
- 1 x 400g tin cooked chickpeas, drained
- 140g cooked beetroot, (about 1 beetroot)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp tahini (or 2 tbsp cold water instead)
Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until really smooth. Serve as a dip or spread on toast.
This post was supported by QMS.
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