Moroccan Kofta and Carrot Slaw

morocco map

Have you ever had kofta? They’re essentially Middle Eastern meatballs, prepared with ground meat (usually beef and/or lamb) and sometimes with the addition of bulgur. I used to love a kofta plate from the Sultan’s Kitchen when I worked downtown. These are a loose interpretation – not authentic, but very very tasty. I made this last week and both D. and I loved it. Don’t be afraid of the ingredient list – these, the rice and the accompanying carrot slaw will all come together in 45 minutes tops.

Moroccan Kofta and Carrot Slaw (adapted from Cooking Light)

For the kofta:

2 T. tomato paste
½ t. salt
½ t. ground coriander
½ t. fennel seeds, crushed (use either a mortar and pestle, or else put ‘em in a heavy Ziploc bag and bang on them with a skillet)
¼ t. ground cumin
¼ t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large egg
Cooking spray

For the sauce:

1 c. fat-free Greek yogurt
2 t. tahini
1 t. lemon zest (please splurge and buy an organic lemon for this!)
Juice of one lemon
1/8 t. salt
1 clove of garlic, minced

To accompany:

1 c. white basmati rice, cooked according to package directions

For the slaw:

2 T. lemon juice
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
½ t. ground cumin
¼ t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
4 c. shredded carrots (you can buy pre-shredded and make this super-fast)
½ c. green onions, light and dark-green parts only, very thinly sliced
½ c. dried currants

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the kofta, combine all the ingredients except the cooking spray in a large bowl. Shape into 4 equally-sized patties. Heat a large skillet (cast iron will give you a nice crispy char here) over medium-high heat and spray the pan with cooking spray. Add the kofta to the pan and cook until the center is only slightly pink, about 5 minutes each side.

To prepare the sauce, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl.

To prepare the slaw, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

To serve: Spoon a mound of rice onto each of 4 plates, top with kofta, drizzle sauce over the lot and serve the slaw on the side.

Serves 4.