Gulf News 'Your Ramadan Table' food show: Kafta bil Sanieh

Gulf News 'Your Ramadan Table' food show: Kafta bil Sanieh

Chef John Buenaventura's take on this Lebanese recipe, with Arabic seven spice mix

Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/ Gulf News

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3 to 4


For kofta mixture

500 gms Lamb mince

30 gms Parsley

5 gms Garlic

30 gms Red onions

2 gms Black pepper

2 gms White pepper

5 gms Arabic seven spice (store-bought)

2 gms Smoked paprika

For tomato sauce

40 ml Olive oil

30 gms Red onions

5 gms Garlic

2 tbsp Tomato paste (store-bought)

200 gms Fresh cherry tomatoes

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ tsp Arabic seven spice

30 gms Parsley leaves

30 gms Coriander leaves

5 gms Chicken stock powder (store-bought)

300 gms Potatoes (Sliced)

300 gms Tomatoes (Sliced)

Rice on the side, as needed


For the lamb mix, chop the garlic in a blender with some salt, or roughly crush the garlic using a knife and a pinch of salt to grind it with the back of the knife. Doing this releases more garlic flavour.

Roughly chop parsley and grate the red onions. Set them aside.

In a bowl, add minced lamb, grated red onions, chopped parsley, and garlic salt mix.

Season it with white and black pepper, smoked paprika, Arabic seven spice powder, and salt. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and mix well. Allow it to marinate for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and put them in a bowl of water to stop them from oxidising. Then strain and add the potatoes to a bowl with olive oil and salt, and mix.

Slice the tomatoes. Preheat an air fryer to 180°C and place the potatoes in it for 10 minutes. Then, set aside to cool.

To make the sauce, blend cherry tomatoes in a blender. Then, finely chop the onion, garlic, and coriander and set them aside.

In a saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic over medium heat, then add chopped onions. Once the onions become translucent, add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock (optional) and a teaspoon of Arabic seven spice powder, bring it to a boil, season with salt, and simmer. Once done, turn off the flame and add the pureed tomatoes and chopped coriander. The tomato sauce is now ready.

To assemble, place the minced meat mix in a cast iron skillet and spread it out evenly. Layer it with potatoes and sliced tomatoes. Then, spoon the sauce over the top, drizzle with olive oil, cover, and place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C.

Once done, let it cool down for a bit and then serve it along with the sauce. Top it with freshly chopped parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy.

This Lebanese dish features an Arabic seven spice mix. The zesty tomatoes combined with the freshness of parsley and coriander enhance the rich flavour of the minced meat. Pair this with some cooked rice for a truly delicious and flavourful experience.

- Chef John Buenaventura, Executive Chef and Host of Your Ramadan Table by Gulf News

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