In my youth, I used to eat Middle Eastern a lot. It was a great way to go, when you were watching your pennies, but still wanted food that was high on flavor.
I often ordered Kufta in Tahini Sauce, a seasoned ground meat dish topped with potato slices and tahini. Creamy, rich and comforting, I always had the version prepared with lamb, putting it on my “make someday” list.
Happily, my Sunday blogging buddies decided to cook Middle Eastern this week!
Unhappily, when I got ready to cook, I was out of ground lamb. And I almost abandoned my plans. Then I remembered my new philosophy: nothing matters if it makes something too hard to do. So I took out some ground beef.
In the end, the change of meat was no problem. The spices and tahini sauce provided the real character, not the specific meat. And the family gobbled it down. Yes!
The recipe, based on one from the Foodtasia blog, tastes virtually identical to my earlier memories. Despite the fact it includes a few changes from tradition to make it more efficient. Hooray for the “not too hard” philosophy again.
The first change was to push the meat into a single big layer on the bottom of the pan versus creating individual sausages or skewers. Then I skipped pre-cooking my potatoes.
In the end, the potatoes were perfectly cooked and the Kufta in Tahini Sauce was, well… dangerously delicious!
Here’s to living in the real world!
- • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
- • About 5 medium potatoes, cut in ¼ inch slices (no need to peel)
- • Optional Garnish: additional chopped parsley and/or 1-2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- • 1 medium onion
- • 1 medium tomato
- • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- • ½ cup of fresh parsley leaves
- • Spice mix: ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ t allspice, ½ t coriander, 1/2 t pepper, 1/4 t cinnamon, ¼ t cumin, pinch cloves
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 slice bread, torn into pieces
- • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- • 1 cups yogurt
- • 1 cup tahini
- • Juice from large lemon
- • 1 cup water
- • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Combine the Kufta seasoning ingredients in a food processor and process until finely minced. It will look surprisingly like meat when done.
- Put the seasoning mixture into a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Add the ground beef and mix by hand to combine, right in the dish. Don't overwork.
- Press the Kufta into a flat, uniform layer in the baking pan. Make depressions in the Kufta mixture with your fingers.
- Put the baking pan into the preheated oven for about 7 minutes while you make the sauce. This will allow the meat to set slightly. Do not leave it in longer or the meat will be overcooked in the end.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Top with sliced potatoes. Pour sauce over evenly to cover.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling and lightly browned.
- Serve warm, optionally with rice.
Easy Middle Eastern Food Recipes
- Ghorayeba by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Kufta in Tahini Sauce with Efficiency Tricks by Art of Natural Living
- Nan e Barbari | Persian Flat Bread by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Palestinian Musakhan Made Easy by Pandemonium Noshery
- Shakshuka by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Tabbouli by That Recipe
- Kale Tabbouleh from the Pantry
- Butterscotch Pudding