kofta tahini uses the hummus superstar ingredient in an exciting, new way!
THERES MORE TO DO WITH TAHINI THAN MAKE HUMMUS! I feel like with all the hummus recipes out there I even forget that we use tahini for so much more then just hummus! And this is one of those things, kthanksbye.
But seriously, tahini is one of those things that makes me laugh because my mom would have to climb mountains and cross rivers to go to a little ethnic store over a half hour away (thank God my local supermarket carries it now haha) that would import this and we were the only kids in the entire neighborhood that even knew what it is. She would always do her ethnic grocery shopping on Saturdays because that was when the pita bread was fresh but also because my dad wanted to go too, he’s a secret foodie. It was like a family field trip and we would stock up on fresh pita bread, tahini, all kinds of fresh produce, different cuts of meats, an assortment of middle eastern cheeses and olives.
We would come back home with bags of groceries and I remember my siblings and I not even waiting until the groceries have been put away to stuff our faces with fresh pita sandwiches my mom would make on the fly. It would be happy chaos in the kitchen as everyone was rummaging through bags trying to figure out what they wanted to eat. My mom, the savior that she is, would somehow make this tahini sauce in minutes without anyone even noticing and hand everyone a fresh falafel sandwich using the crispy cucumber and fresh tomatoes we just got, drizzled with the tahini sauce, or a Nabulsi cheese with crunchy green pepper and fresh tarragon wrapped in warm pita.
Well it is about time!…
Now, it’s like the world has discovered our little kitchen gem and it makes me smile like ya, I knew about that before I was even born, welcome to the club. In an Arab household, tahini is used to make hummus, sauce, breakfast, cookies, cakes, the list goes on. I tend to make a lot of tomato and eggplant based dishes I’m realizing and when I want to change it up I usually go for an Asian dish or this kofta tahini dish.
The sauce is an amazing tahini lemony based sauce that like I mentioned already, we use for falafel sandwiches, shawerma meat sandwiches (we always use a garlic sauce for the chicken shawerma sandwich), fava bean breakfast dish called foul mddamas or on a potato dish. Usually everytime I make this I’ll end up with extra sauce (intentionally) which I store in tuberware and I’ll make falafel the next day and use the leftover sauce. Done and Done. But no joke, it might be one of my all time favorite sauces because its so full of flavor yet feels light and smooth.
In fact, I posted and raved about the amazing sauce right here http://www.sweetpillar.com/blog/2015/10/7/zaatar-crusted-shrimp-with-lemon-tahini-drizzle
This dish is kofta skewers baked in a tahini sauce and then topped with potatoes. Some people opt to not spend the extra time making little kofta skewers and instead just pressing it onto the pyrex so its one giant kofta pizza basically and then topped with the sauce and potatoes. Some people don’t even use potatoes in this dish. The main thing is kofta and this tahini sauce.
I like the addition of the potatoes because it gives the dish an additional texture. If you notice I leave the skin on the potatoes because most of the nutrients of the potatoes is actually in the skin so I just scrub them really well and leave them on but you can remove the skin or remove the entire potato addition from the dish if you don’t like potatoes.
I first put parsley and onions in the processor so all the juice comes out and can be absorbed by the meat. I then add the spices and parsley onion mixture. Usually I add this amazing Turkish spice blend that I purchased at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul a few years ago but that has since finished and I don’t even know the name of it to purchase more. When I bought it they put it in a little plastic bag which I transferred to a mason jar and that was it. No name, no label. I’ve tried to hunt it down but haven’t found anything comparable. So if anyone can help, let me know! But anyway since I’ve departed ways with my Turkish blend I use a middle eastern all spice which is a mix of cumin, coriander, paprika, etc. I’m so excited for you to try this dish!
- 1 lb Ground beef (or lamb - if using lamb combine it with beef otherwise it's too heavy)
- 2 Small onions 1 cut in round slices and 1 minced
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon All Spice (if you cannot find middle eastern all spice you can mix 1/2 teaspoon of each ground cinnamon, paprika, cumin, ground cloves, nutmeg & coriander)
- 1 potato cut in either thick slices or round
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1 cup Tahini
- 1/2 cup lemon juice juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 cup water added gradually to tahini
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Toss potatoes in oil and salt and put in the oven for 10 minutes on each side on baking sheet sprayed in oil
- If frying potatoes, heat up vegetable oil and fry at this point and set aside
Lower heat to 375
In food processor or grater pulse onion and parsley or chop finely
- Add onion mixture to ground beef along with spices, salt and pepper
Mix with your hands long enough for all the flavors to really mix together (1-2 minutes)
Using your hands make round balls then press them so they long and are fingerlike length and form kabob shape. Put in the fridge for 5 -10 minutes at least and up to a day
Using either vegetable oil or sunflower oil sautee the kabobs in a frying pan. Sautee them about 5-6 minutes so they are brown on the outside but still slightly rare on the inside (we're going to put them back in the oven so you don't want them to overcook but instead finish cooking in the oven)
Place onion discs on the bottom of a pyrex, top with kabobs, and pour tahini sauce over
Cover in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove cover, add potatoes and put back in the oven for additional 10 minutes or until kofta is cooked through
Garnish with parsley, paprika, and/or pine nuts
Serve with rice or pita bread
Whisk together tahini, juice of lemon and salt. Gradually add water so it is a thick creamy consistency. Adjust lemon and salt to taste.