I still remember the cheerful well spoken door-to-door salesman, dressed in smart casuals with a tie, waiting at my parent's door. He was selling food processors. It was the first time, I heard about such a thing. My parents initial response was no, Amma wasn’t interested at all since we had a full time help at home.
He was persuasive and the way he described the magical appliance and how it would revolutionize kitchen work, made me curious. I wanted to see how that magic happens. Anyways, his persuasion paid off and we agreed to see a demo.
The demo took place at my Uncle's place. We, my family, my uncle's family and my aunt's family, who were also there was very much impressed by the demo. Finally, that salesman convinced the three families to buy the food processor.
The day we got it at home, was filled with excitement, seeing all the different blades and attachments, I hoped we would be eating some fine restaurant style food, instead of the same old “choru & curry” (rice & curry).
Amma even stitched a new ‘cover’ (uduppu) for the processor. Btw, that reminds me of something… all our appliances at home had some sort of cover, ranging from TV to mixie to the TV remote. Is it just us or what about you…?
Well, my hopes of eating fine fast-food had a slow, no… fast-paced death. After the first few days of “aaramba shoorathwam” (initial excitement) and when our maid was on leave, the food processor finally got a chance to come out of its cover. But that time, Amma made full use of it. She used to make Chapathi dough, prepare Puttu, Thorans, Cutlet mince etc; – talk about being resourceful…
Fast forward to just after my marriage, when I was setting up my kitchen, I was 100% sure I needed a food processor. Jose was a bit skeptical about it at first, but once I made him realize that Cabbage Thoran (the integral part of Kerala lunch) and Cutlet, a fav snack for both of us was simply impossible without the food processor, he was on board. So one weekend, we went about shopping for a food processor and we were greeted by a Malayali store assistant at the store.
“Are you sure, you want a food processor?”, that was his first reaction when we told him about the purpose of our visit. I got confused! I thought may be he heard something else and I repeated our requirement.
He turned to Jose and said “Sir, it's a pure waste of money, why do you want to buy that”. Now it was Jose's turn to get confused. We told him again, we wanted to buy one and asked him to just show us the models available. He took a few steps back, looked at us and said…
“Are you newly married? No wonder, you want to buy it for her. You will feel like buying everything for her, because of this new found love, but trust me… after the first month itself, it will sit in the corner to gather dust…” (I think or at least I hope he was talking about the food processor and not me!)
I was irritated seeing his attitude. But since the brand we wanted was available only there, we didn't have much of a choice. We ended up buying the food processor from that shop and while we were there, that guy had a smug expression which almost read like “I bet you, you will hardly use it”.
That was 11 years ago. I’ve used that food processor for 8-9 years, until its motor gave up. Each time I used it, I used to think about that store assistant with a smug expression on my face which read “you irritating salesman, see I'm using it… watch!” ;)
Ok, the reason I share this story here, is because this recipe and it's accompaniment, are easy to make because of the food processor. Yes, you can also make it using a mixie, but it's easier with a food processor.
Now coming to the recipe, I wanted to try more Middle Eastern recipes and that lead me to this recipe. We both love grilled foods and we kinda eat it often from outside. So when I saw this easy recipe, I was hooked. I was doubtful whether it would be possible to make juicy kababs / koftas at home.
Let me tell you, with a little effort and close attention to the time, you can make juicy kababs at home too. I've made some minor changes to the recipe by substituting some ingredients and also by adding other ingredients to suit our taste requirements. We really enjoyed this Mutton Kofta Kabab with a side of Hummus.
You can make it as a starter for a party or as a main dish. I'm sure the flavour of this soft and juicy kofta kabab will get you hooked!
Here is the recipe…
Combine minced mutton, garlic, shallots, ginger, egg, corn starch, olive oil, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are evenly combined, then keep the machine running on low and start drizzling in 2 – 3 tbsp of water. Keep the food processor running for a few seconds until the mixture become “paste-like”…
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the lamb mixture into tiny meatballs, approx 1 1/2 tsp each and lay them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs start to brown and are set in shape (around 10-12 mins)…
Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown them nicely all over. Add the pine nuts (if using) and cumin seeds, and let them toast until golden brown (this would happen relatively quick!). Then add the minced garlic, fresh mint and chili flakes. Cook only for another few seconds. Re-season it with salt’n pepper…
Please read the notes section before trying out the recipe…
Recipe adapted from here
Mutton Kofta Recipe
- 500-600 gms Minced Mutton/beef/pork I used mutton
- 2 - 2.5 tsp Minced ginger & garlic each
- 3 Small onion / Pearl onion sliced
- 1 small Egg
- 1.5 tbsp Cornflour
- 1.5 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp Fennel powder
- 1/2 -1 tsp Pepper powder
- 1 tbsp Chopped coriander & mint leaves each
- 2-3 tbsp Water to drizzle in
- 2 tbsp Oil or more if required
- 2 tbsp Pine nuts optional (refer notes)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Minced garlic optional
- 2-3 tbsp Chopped mint leaves
- 1-2 tsp Chilli flakes I didnt add
Combine minced mutton, garlic, shallots, ginger, egg, corn starch, olive oil, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are evenly combined, then keep the machine running on low and start drizzling in 2 - 3 tbsp of water. Keep the food processor running for a few seconds until the mixture become “paste-like”.
You could also do this on a stand-mixer with a pedal-attachment. This process “beats” the water and the protein together to achieve an “emulsion” if you will. It gives the meatball a silky texture.
Preheat the oven on 430ºF/220ºC, 10 mins before cooking
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the lamb mixture into tiny meatballs, approx 1 1/2 tsp each and lay them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs start to brown and are set in shape (around 10-12 mins).
Once the meatballs are set, take them out of the oven. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown them nicely all over. Add the pine nuts (if using) and cumin seeds, and let them toast until golden brown (this would happen relatively quick!). Then add the minced garlic, fresh mint and chili flakes. Cook only for another few seconds. Re-season it with salt’n pepper.
If you dont have an oven, you can cook it on stove top. Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a deep and wide pan and cook the koftas on low-medium flame. Once the colour starts changing (check the doneness with one kofta), you can increase the heat to medium -high, to brown the koftas. Make sure you keep a close watch, to avoid over cooking.
Though Pine nuts give a nice crunch to the koftas, it's ok, if you cant find it. The koftas tastes great even without it.
I didnt add chilli flakes since I didnt have any, But if you've it, go ahead and use it. It will give a nice kick to the koftas.
I used the ground kofta mix on the same day itself. However, I think, it will be ok to store it in the fridge overnight, but not more than that.
I've mentioned the qty for 3-4 people, if it's served as an appetiser or starter. If you are serving it as main course, it will serve 2-3 max.