Thursday, September 5, 2013

456. Kebab/Kofta Halabi with Roasted Tomato

Even within the Arab nations, there is some confusion as to what a kebab is and what a kofta is. Kofta, not used by all, is always a minced meat sort of patty, be it longitudinal or circular. Kebabs however are sometimes used interchangeably with kofta, but really they denote skewered chunks of meat.

In Iraq, we generally use kebab instead of kofta, and tikka instead of the skewered chunks of meat (kebab).
Hence the kebab-slash-kofta title.
This Kebab Halabi (كباب حلبي) is a delectable Syrian dish, also quite popular in Turkey, consisting of grilled kofta patties topped with a delicious juicy roasted tomato mixture.
It is, in concept, not much different from the pistachio kebabs I made some time ago, but it does differ in taste, although both are absolutely delicious.


For the tomato roast:
5 tomatoes
3 onions
1 lemon, juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sumac
3 Tbsp olive oil

For the kebabs:
500g ground lamb
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1 large green chili, deseeded
1 large red chili, deseeded
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F.
First prepare your vegetables.
Cut in chunky slices or wedges the tomatoes and onion.
Place the onion and tomatoes in a baking tray.
Drizzle the olive oil over, season with salt and pepper.
Give them all a good mix to make sure all the vegetables are coated with olive oil and the seasoning.
Sprinkle with sumac. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, giving them a mix half way.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the kebabs.
First have a bowl of water, drizzled with olive oil ready aside, to knead and help shape the kebabs into the skewers.
Pulse the onion, garlic, red chili, and green chili in a food processor a few times, until roughly chopped.
Place the ground lamb in a bowl, stir in the onion mixture, and the salt and pepper.
Wet your hands in the water & olive oil mixture and knead well to a smooth paste.
Cover and rest for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted in the oven.

Once the vegetables roasted, take the tray out of the oven, cover  and set aside (you may need to warm the vegetables before serving).

Put the oven into its highest setting and start shaping the kebabs around six skewers.

As soon as the kebabs are shaped, cook them under the grill/broiler for about 6 minutes or until they are golden and cooked through that side.

Turn them over, and replace the vegetable tray under them to catch all the running juices.
Cook for another 6 minutes until both sides are olden brown and kebabs are cooked through.
Serve the kebabs topped with the roasted tomatoes.

 صحة و عافية

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