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November 13, 2004


Last night I made a very simple dinner: ground lamb, chopped onion, chopped parsley, and the Sadaf "ground meat spice" mixture that I picked up on a whim at the market. The spice mixture directions were to soak in water, then add to the ground meat and marinate for 15 minutes. I then made patties (hamburger-shaped ones without the spice mixture for the kids, more oblong ones for us, so I could tell the difference) and cooked them on the grill. It was very tasty. Served with pita and yogurt.

The recipe without the spice mixture came from Claudia Roden's cookbook (thanks, Leila!)...it is one of the few things I make that both of the kids love.

What on earth is in the Sadaf spice mixture? Soaking in water sounds extraordinary. I'd ask you to bring me some at Thanksgiving, Pete, but I doubt I'll want to eat it until chemo is over in March.

The ground lamb recipe - would that be kafta? Is it from Claudia's Middle East book (the one both your mom and I gave you - that was entirely my screw-up) or from Jewish Food?

The ingredients are (according to the Sadaf web page): Onion,Salt,Pepper,Sumac,Parsley,Turmeric. I'd never seen one like that that has you soak it beforehand. 5oz of water per 2lbs of meat. Since I already added fresh parsley and onion, really the new flavors were just sumac and turmeric. Had I read the ingredients more carefully, I might not have bought it. Still, the result was very tasty.

I believe the recipe was indeed one of the kaftas in Claudia's Middle East book, though all our cookbooks are inaccessible at the moment (and may be gone...) so I'm not positive. It's a very simple one--just grated or chopped onions and parsley. I use 1/2 a largeish white onion and "some" parsley. Simple, but everybody loves it.

Note to everybody else - see the kafta in a tray with potatos recipe for a kafta recipe. It's just ground meat mixed with finely chopped onion and parsley, and seasoned with spices of your choice. Kafta kabobs can be grilled alone, on skewers or not, and served on pita bread or rice. My kafta recipe is a more elaborate home-style dish.

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