Lamb keftedes

Lamb keftedes

Arní keftédes

Lyndey and Blair's Taste of Greece
Chris Chen

While keftedes are a staple of Greek cuisine, here they are given a more modern twist.


Quantity Ingredient
500g minced lamb
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
olive oil, for brushing

Eggplant sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 large eggplants
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 cup greek-style natural yoghurt
1/2 cup mint leaves
vine leaves
extra-virgin olive oil, for deep-frying (optional)
greek pita, toasted


  1. Mix together the lamb, salt, cumin, cinnamon, egg, breadcrumbs and mint in a large bowl. Take approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture and shape into small round meatballs. Lay the keftedes in a single layer on a tray and refrigerate while you prepare the eggplant sauce.
  2. To make the eggplant sauce, cut the eggplants into large cubes, sprinkle with the salt and stand for 10 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and then pat it dry with a clean tea towel. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the eggplant in two or three batches, adding more oil as needed. Return all the eggplant to the frying pan, add the tomatoes, water, cumin, cinnamon and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often until the eggplant is tender, but still holding its shape – the eggplant mixture should be slightly thick. Cool slightly then stir in the parsley.
  3. To serve, brush the keftedes with olive oil, preheat a large frying pan and cook the keftedes, in batches if necessary, for 5–8 minutes, shaking the pan and rolling the keftedes, so they are well browned and cooked through.
  4. While the keftedes are cooking, process the yoghurt and mint leaves to make a thin sauce. Pat the vine leaves dry and deep-fry in a little olive if you wish. Warm or toast the pita bread and serve it with the vine leaves and minted yoghurt alongside the keftedes and eggplant sauce.
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