Flag of Oman
Fun fact: Oman is the only country in the world that starts with the letter “O.” That means that I only had one choice in what country to use for my letter “O” recipe, but surprisingly there are a number of Omani recipes online (seriously how much do we love that whole internet thing!).
So finding Omani recipes wasn’t hard at all, instead the challenges were this. First, as I’ve said many times, Middle Eastern food is a challenge for me because they use so many of the things that I’m allergic to. Second, Middle Eastern food is Middle Eastern food. Food from that area of the world is really delicious, I love the spices and the emphasis on fresh vegetables, but the food tends to not be country specific so you often find the same dishes in Armenia that you would in Yemen.
This recipe is an amalgamation of 3 recipes that you’ll find if you Google, “Omani Kofta,” so that’s Omani enough for me.
Lamb Kofta with Zucchini Sauce
Fo the Kofta:
- 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 small red onion; finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parley; finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg; beaten
Combine everything in a bowl and mix well.
Form in to sausage shaped patties, approximately 2-3 inches long and an inch in diameter. This should yield about 12 kofta.
refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat some olive oil in a saute pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook kofta for 10 minutes, flipping each halfway through or until meat is fully cooked.
For Zucchini sauce:
2 large (or 3-4 medium) zucchini; diced
6 cloves of garlic; crushed
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red chilis to taste
2 Bay leaves
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley; finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh mint; finely chopped
Heat oil in large pot. Add zucchini and cook over medium high heat until zucchini begins to soften; about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 more minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper, chilis, vinegar and bay leaves. Turn heat down and allow to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes stir in the parsley and mint and cook for one more minute.
Discard bay leaves.
Serve kofta and zucchini sauce over rice with warm Middle Eastern flat bread on the side.
Yields 4-6 servings
FINAL VERDICT: A-
What a great recipe! I love the spices and especially love how the aroma of those spices wafted off the dish. The mint in the sauce added a great punch of bright freshness to the sauce. I’d change some very minor things next time which I’m sure would launch this recipe from A- to A. Next time I make this I’ll add a bit more of the herbs to the sauce. Also, I was surprised that the recipes
I found called for balsamic vinegar, though Oman is a pretty international place so balsamic has probably become as ubiquitous there as it is here, I think this would’ve been better with red wine vinegar or something with a bit more bite since the tomatoes are already sweet.
Speaking of the tomatoes I’d planned to use fresh since it’s the perfect time of year for that, but I forgot to buy extra at the farmer’s market. I ran to the organic section of my local market only to find that ALL of their tomatoes were imported from California or Mexico. Really!? At this time of year, in this area of the country we have more amazing local tomatoes than we know what to do with and this local loving gal could not in good conscience buy the tomatoes that were shipped in from afar so canned it was and it worked out great!
The sauce itself was so good and could definitely be used on a number of other things.