WITH ADDICTIVE SPICES AND A ZESTY DIP, THESE KOFTA ARE DESTINED TO BE A CROWD PLEASER
I recently made this chicken kofta and it was out of this world. These Turkish meatballs combine ground meat with spices. The most popular are lamb, beef and pork, with the fat content helping to keep the kofta moist and carry the flavour of the spices. So why chicken? Chicken is one of the leaner meats, but using minced thigh and bulgur provided plenty of flavour. They were moist and lighter than those prepared with the more traditional meats. As good as kofta are on their own, they are even better with a zesty dip. Substituting the traditional yoghurt and herb sauce for this richer avocado one evens up the overall ballast balance of the dish.
CHICKEN KOFTA WITH PISTACHIO GUACAMOLE Serves: 4-6 INGREDIENTS
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 30g pistachios 2 avocados, halved and stones removed 25g finely chopped white onion, rinsed under cold water and drained 1 jalapeño, seeded ½ lime, juice (plus ½ lime, cut in wedges to garnish) ½ bunch coriander, chopped, plus more for garnish ½ red onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 500g minced chicken thigh 1 egg 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander 1 heaped tsp dried mint ½ tsp chilli powder ½ lemon, zest and juice 70g bulgur, soaked in cold water for 15 mins and drained Lime cheeks or wedges, to serve
Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Swirl in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and saute pistachios until toasted. Season with salt, cool then chop coarsely. Scoop the avocado flesh into a medium bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Stir in the onion, half the jalapeño, finely diced, lime juice, coriander and pistachios and season with salt. Refrigerate until required. Swirl a further 1 tbsp of olive oil into a preheated fry pan. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Cool then combine in a medium bowl with minced chicken, egg, spices, mint, chilli, zest, soaked bulgur, and season generously to taste. Mix well, roll into walnut-sized oval balls and chill for a few hours. When ready to cook, fry in the remaining olive oil until golden brown and just cooked through. Serve with guacamole and garnish with coriander, remaining jalapeño and lime.