An alternative lamb dish for an unusual Easter

Throw all the main ingredients into one big mixing bowl to prepare this simple dish

Tzatziki is a great way to use up cucumbers and flatbreads are surprisingly easy to make

Over the past few weeks our creativity in the kitchen may have been tested. I’m amazed at how much a family of five can consume in 24 hours. I’ve started getting vegetable deliveries from Organic Republic in Cork and although you can specify exactly what you need, I prefer not knowing what will be included.

I transformed last week’s celeriac and red cabbage into an Irish kimchi. It was a great way to preserve both vegetables and enjoy them over a few weeks, as well as being a great source of probiotics.

Cucumbers don’t have the longest shelf life so I tend to use them shortly after I buy them. I make a quick and easy cucumber pickle by slicing them thinly in the food processor and immersing the slices in a vinegar-based pickling mix with a little sugar and salt.

Tzatziki is another great way to use up cucumbers. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week. But the beauty of this delicious yogurt salad is that you can use many different things to make it. I’ve added grated carrots, kohlrabi and even a little beetroot for a vibrant pink colour, as seen in my photograph.


To make simple flatbreads to go with the koftas, mix 250g plain flour with 250g yogurt and a scant teaspoon of baking powder till it forms a craggy dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead gently till it all comes together. Leave to rest before dividing into nine balls and rolling into flatbreads. These can then be fried on a dry pan for two to three minutes each side until blistered and puffed up. These are great for serving with soups or as a wrap. Add some chopped coriander and nigella seeds and you’ll never buy naan breads to serve with curry again.


Serves four

450g minced lamb
1 small onion, very finely diced
1 lemon
Small bunch, 15g, fresh dill (basil, mint, coriander or oregano will all work too)
Spices such as ras el hanout, coriander, cumin, cinnamon
200g natural or Greek yoghurt
½ a cucumber
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Dried herbs such as oregano, mint or dill
Sea salt
Black pepper

 Place the lamb, finely chopped onion and the zest of half a lemon into a large mixing bowl. Give yourself plenty of space, as you will be mixing everything for the koftas in this bowl.

2 Finely chop the dill and add two-thirds of this to the meat mix, reserving the remaining third.

3 Choose your kofta spices to correspond with the herbs you are using, and what you have available to you. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of ground cumin and plenty of black pepper and sea salt. This mix can take a generous amount of seasoning.

4 Mix everything together until well-combined, then divide into eight oval shapes. Thread these on to the skewers and then place on a plate and cover. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

5 Meanwhile preheat the grill. Brush the koftas with a little oil, and grill under a high heat, turning when needed, until cooked through (eight to 10 minutes). Don't overcook or the lamb will become dry.

6 For the tzatziki, mix the reserved dill with the yoghurt, the crushed garlic, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Grate the cucumber, then remove as much liquid as possible by pressing the grated vegetable in a sieve. Keep the liquid that runs off for juices and smoothies. Mix the cucumber with garlic and dill flecked yogurt and season with salt and pepper. At this stage you can also add your choice of dried herbs. A tablespoon of dried mint, coriander or oregano would taste great added here.

7 Serve the lamb koftas with a spoonful of tzatziki and a flatbread.