Middle-eastern delight will spice up summer barbecues

Lamb koftas can spice up your barbecue
Lamb koftas can spice up your barbecue

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Chef Lawrence whips up a lamb kofta to add variety to the traditional British barbecue.

The thought of eating outside really appeals to me, although it brings back memories of black, charcoaled sausages that my dad would give us in our garden while we were setting up the summer camp for the school holidays.

Koftas make the most of seasonal lamb.

Koftas make the most of seasonal lamb.

Times have changed though and nowadays, food is much more important to me now than the summer camp.

The Barbecue traditionally means that dads get to play with fire and mums get some time off from cooking (although they do tend to do the cleaning up bit).

Many of us tend to cook the same things on the barbecue every time it’s fired up and forget about the wonderful array of goodies available at this time of year.

I love to char vegetables on our barbecue and I’ve tried many varieties. If you are lucky enough to get the last of the season asparagus try it on the coals with olive oil, sea salt and parmesan. Why not have a go with sweet baby carrots and sprinkle them with caraway seeds. These two dishes alone will pep up your outdoor eating experience.

New season lamb is also at its best right now and if you don’t want to chance a whole leg or shoulder to your barbecue then a little lamb mince will go a long way.

Here’s a middle-eastern recipe for lamb kofta that my dad would like, as it actually tastes better when it’s slightly charred. I’ve also given a recipe for harissa to go with the koftas’ which cools down with minted yoghurt if it’s too spicy.

To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.

Ingredients - Koftas (makes four large or eight small koftas)

500g of minced lamb

2 onions, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

2 teaspoon of cumin seed

1 teaspoon of fennel seed

1 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika

1 dessertspoon of paprika

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


1. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a low heat for four minutes, making sure they don’t go brown.

2. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and allow to cool.

3. In a large bowl combine the cooked onion and seeds with the other ingredients.

4. Shape into rounds and refrigerate.

5. Cook on the BBQ for four to five minutes on each side.

Ingredients - Harissa

2 red peppers - roasted , peeled and deseeded

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of cumin seed

1 teaspoon of coriander seed

1 bird’s eye chilli

Olive oil

Sea salt


1. Combine all the ingredients in a liquidiser and blend until smooth.

2. Taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Serve with your koftas.