When I was young my dad would take me along to the Sunday market on Brick Lane and treat me to lunch at Sweet & Spicy, a corner café specialising in unfussy Pakistani food. We’d always have their kebab rolls - finely ground, spiced minced lamb cooked on skewers and served inside a soft flatbread. The kebabs were served with their famous red sauce - which was sweet and spicy! Sadly the place has closed down now; however anyone who has craved comforting Pakistani food on Brick Lane will remember them with nostalgia. These koftas are inspired by Sweet & Spicy and are my version of a simple lunchtime staple which doesn’t skimp on flavour.
Put the onion, ginger, garlic, chillies, fresh coriander, chilli powder, ground coriander, salt, cumin and turmeric into a blender with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Quickly blitz to get a coarse paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl, add the mince and mix well with your hands. Divide the mixture into 16 portions and gently roll each one into a ball between your palms. Flatten each slightly, and put on a plate.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and, once hot, reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently slide a few koftas at a time into the oil and cook for four or five minutes on each side until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked koftas to a warm dish, then repeat until they’re all done. These are best served hot with some freshly baked naan bread or chapatti, salad, a good dollop of raita and a spicy hot sauce to recreate those Sweet & Spicy kebab roll memories! A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and a wedge of lemon also add a lovely touch.
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