Algerian Night- Kefta and Mint Tea
If you can’t be in Algeria, you can certainly taste it with this easy, yet delicious Kefta recipe, served with rice of your choice- basmati, plain boiled jasmine, of even rice pilaf!
(MIDDLE EASTERN SPICED MEATBALLS)
4 to 6 servings, or about 20 meatballs
Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two -- 2 pounds
Onion, minced -- 1
Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped -- 1/2 bunch
Ground cumin -- 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon -- 2 teaspoons
Allspice (optional) -- 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper -- to season
Oil -- 1/4 cup
Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.
Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.
Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.
Algerian Mint Tea
1 tablespoon loose Chinese gunpowder green tea
5 cups boiling water
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 large bunch fresh mint (1 ounce)
a 1- to 1 1/2-quart teapot
Put tea in teapot and pour in 1 cup boiling water, then swirl gently to warm pot and rinse tea. Strain out and discard water, reserving tea leaves in pot.
Add remaining 4 cups boiling water to tea and let steep 2 minutes. Stir in sugar (to taste) and mint sprigs and steep 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve in small heatproof glasses.