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Lamb and Chestnut Koftas with Date Chutney

Lamb and Chestnut Koftas with Date Chutney

Brought to you by: OcadoLife

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 4

Smoky and full of spice, these Lamb and Chestnut Koftas with Date Chutney are the brainchild of Ravinder Bhogal – chef, author and founder of Jikoni restaurant in London. “Served with the chutney and a kale and pomegranate salad, these deliver a beautiful bittersweet balance,” says Ravinder. “For a subtle floral hit, try adding a few drops of rosewater to the lamb mixture.” You can also serve everything piled into warm pittas. Looking for more lamb recipes? Look no further.
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  • 100g pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds, plus ½ tsp, toasted and crushed
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1½ tbsp ghee
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g cooked chestnuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2½ cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400g lamb mince (20% fat)
  • 5 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 4 whole cloves, for smoking
  • 300g kale, finely chopped (tough stalks removed)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 echalion shallot, finely chopped
  • 100g pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted


Step 1

To make the chutney, put the dates in a pan with 400ml water; simmer for 10 mins until mushy. Drain; blitz in a blender until smooth. Tip into a bowl and mix with the sumac, chilli powder, ground ginger, ½ tsp toasted, crushed cumin seeds, ½ tsp toasted, crushed fennel seeds, and pomegranate molasses. Season, then chill until needed.

Step 2

For the koftas, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a frying pan; fry the onion and 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds over a low heat for 10 mins or until dark and soft; remove with a slotted spoon to a food processor. Fry the chestnuts in the same pan for 5 mins or until caramelised. Add to the onion mix, along with three-quarters of the garlic, the ginger and chilli. Whizz to a purée (add a splash of water if needed); tip into a mixing bowl. Whizz the lamb to a smooth paste and add to the bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds, the cardamom, mace, ground cloves, cinnamon and mint; season.

Step 3

Heat the remaining ½ tbsp ghee in a pan until hot, add the 4 whole cloves and heat until smoking. Cool a little, then discard the cloves and add the ghee to the lamb mix. Chill for 1 hr.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make the salad. Put the kale in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining garlic, the lemon juice, olive oil and some seasoning. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage it in with your hands. Toss in the shallot and pomegranate seeds; set aside.

Step 5

With wet hands, shape the lamb into 16 koftas. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large non-stick frying pan; fry the koftas over a medium heat for 3-4 mins each side until cooked through.

Step 6

Serve the koftas on a bed of the salad, with the almonds scattered over and the chutney on the side.

Tips or serving suggestions

Allow 1 hr extra for chilling.

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