Fish Kofta with yoghurt, sumac and chilli – Falastin

This is from the book Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley part of the Ottolenghi family ... so no surprises there. It has taken me a while to get into this book, I'm not too keen on the photography ( But frankly how can I talk, the image above is a shocker... and yes I did manage to burn the little nuggets but they tasted wonderful)!

These herb and spice packed kofta make a lovely starter, or a light meal in themselves, packed into a pita and served with a chopped salad. Getting ahead: These can be made in advance - up to a day, if you like - up to the point where they are about to go into the oven. Once cooked they cane be eaten the next day - the flavours actually improve - either at room temp or warmed through.

Serves Four.

90ml olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped ( 360g) 6 garlic cloves crushed

700g cod fillet or loin skinless and boneless, chopped into 3cm chunks

2 red chillies, one finely chopped an one finely sliced to serve

15g parsley leaves, bought chopped

15g dill, roughly chopped, plus a few extra picked leaves to serve

1 lemon finely grate the best to get

2tsp fish spice ( see below )

1 tbsp sumac

200 Greek-style yoghurt

Salt and Pepper

Fish Spice ( Makes just over 2 tbsp

2tsp ground cardamon

2tsp ground cumin

1tsp paprika

2tsp ground turmeric

Preheat the oven 220C fan

Put 3 tablespoons of oil into a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Pmce jet, add the onions and cook for 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally , or until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until completely cool.

 Put the fish into a food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped but not a complete paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add the cooled onion mixture, chopped chilli, herbs, lemon zest, egg, fish spice mix, 2 teaspoons of sumac, 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well to combine, then using your hands, shape the mixture into about 15 kofta : they should each be about 5cm wide and weigh about 65g/

Put 2 tablespoons of oil into large frying pan and place on a medium high heat. Once hot add the kofta in batches of two or three and fry for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through so that both sides are golden brown. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 4 or 5 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes or so to slightly cool

To serve, spread the yoghurt evenly between four serving plates and top each with 3 fish kofta, saving any extra for seconds. Sprinkle the kofta with the remaining teaspoon of sumac, the picked dill and sliced chilli. Drizzle over the last tablespoon of oil and serve, with a lemon wedge alongside.

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