Friday Night Kefta

June 7, 2011

Last Friday night I had a rather infuriating headache. Despite ibuprofen and panadol, plenty of water and some yoga, it persisted. Part of me was tempted to just serve My Weekend Pasta for dinner (it’s my easy, no-fuss meal). But I knew that Ben could have done with a little extra nourishment two days before his big exam, for which he was tirelessly studying.

And so I turned to Jamie Oliver for inspiration. I adore Mr Oliver – he’s talented, endearing, cheeky and rather cute. I knew he would ease my sore head. I opened up Jamie Does and as fate would have it, the first recipe I saw was practically perfect in ever way. It was easy enough to not strain my head, healthy so as to provide Ben with some good nutrition, and deliciously playing towards mine and Ben’s tastes. Thank you, Jamie. (Kefta recipe link).

*Alterations I made to the recipe: I added in 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest to the mince mix, for some added depth (I think it worked really nicely). Alongside the meatballs I served warmed flatbread, mixed leaves and diced baby roma tomatoes. Lastly, I didn’t serve them with Greek Yoghurt and Harissa, instead I whipped up a quick tzatziki.

Simple Tzatziki

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 a cucumber, seeds and all, finely diced, with 1 clove of crushed garlic and ~150g Natural Yoghurt (I swear by Farmers Union brand). Mix well.

Paprika Carrot Fries and Sumac Zucchini Cubes

I paired the kefta and pita with some spiced vegetable goodness – paprika carrot fries and sumac zucchini cubes. I chopped 3 medium carrots and 1 large zucchini to my desired sizes – french fries for the carrots and 1-2 inch cubes for the zucchini. I then tossed them in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, along with 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (smoked would also work) for the carrots, 1 teaspoon sumac for the zucchini and lastly some sea salt. I cooked the zucchini and carrots (each carrot fry separated as best you can) in a pre-heated oven (200 Degrees Celsius) for ~25 minutes and ~20 minutes respectively, or until cooked to your liking. I like the zucchini to be a little crusty on the outside but gooey on the inside, and the carrots to be crisp.


It was truly a delicious meal. And not long after delighting in these kefta, my headache disappeared. What magical meatballs they are. We enjoyed this meal so much, I may even make it again this week – Phe and Jackson, if you’re reading this, our Thursday night dinner date may involve kefta 🙂

Heidi xo
  • Lisa June 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Jamie O is one of my favourites too!
    I love that you added cinnamon to this recipe! what a great idea!

  • Maria @ Scandi Foodie June 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I love Jamie's recipes and his food philosophy is just admirable! Great recipe round-up, everything looks so good!

  • hollypop June 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

    i really want to buy my first jamie cookbook but i'm never sure which one to get first. maybe this one!

  • Lisa June 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I remember when Jamie first arrived on the scene. He could so easily have been just another celebrity chef but boy oh boy has he done wonderful things with his fame. I'm a huge fan.

    I must admit I've never found a kofta that quite works for me. I'm not sure what it is, but they just don't make me sing. Perhaps I need to try his recipe, they may change my mind.

  • Leah June 7, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I love Jamie Oliver, and the food he makes. He is one of my favourite chef's.

  • Blithely Unaware June 7, 2011 at 10:56 am


    This would be great as an easy lunchbox too, better than the usual work lunch!

    Great post Miss Heidi.

  • Ames June 7, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Love an easy recipe! WIll definitely give this ago after exams :). thanks again for sharing!

  • Hannah June 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Teehee, ground cinnamon used to be one of my secret tricks when making middle-eastern-ish mince dishes! Love the look of the carrot fries!

  • Michelle Chin June 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    It's like vegetable chips!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I like the sound of magical headache disappearing meatballs! Glad to hear that you were feeling better so soon 🙂

  • Iron Chef Shellie June 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    zomg looks amazing!!

  • The InTolerant Chef June 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I love tzatzaki too. Maybe you just needed a protien a hit for you headache?

  • chutneyandspice June 8, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I think those veggies sound just delicious and just the thing to pair with thir recipe.
    Jamie Oliver has such universal appeal and he's obviously really popular over there. Everything he does has a special touch, yet if never feels like something you can't do yourself at home.
    I love the effect you do with your photos they look like polaroids.

  • Heidi June 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Lisa – thank you! High five for Jamie love!

    Maria – thanks! & I agree, he has a fabulous food philosophy.

    hollypop – I do love this book of his. Really good, interesting, vibrant recipes with some travel love too. Cook with Jamie is also great, as is Jamie's Italy.

    Lisa – I think the spices in this one work well. He also suggests using lamb, which would be really yummy!

    Leah – yay, me too!

    Blithely Unaware – why yes it would be perfect for a lunchbox meal! Thanks, lovely.

    Ames – you're welcome! Good luck for exams!

    Hannah – thanks! They were rather yummy.

    Michelle – indeed it is 🙂

    Lorraine – thanks! A magical meatball never goes astray 🙂

    Michele – yes, Miss Meatball Queen, they were rather amazing 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – maybe you're right!!

    chutneyandspice – thank you, I do love the iphone app 😉 & he is immensely popular over here in Aus, we love him!

    Heidi xo

  • Ilke June 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I love smoky spices in kofte! Looks like headache curing dish, I will keep in mind next time headache knocks the life out of me! 🙂

  • chopinandmysaucepan June 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I'll remember this the next time that headache hits me.

  • Heidi June 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Ilke – yes do! I too love a smoky spice, mmmmmmm

    chopinandmysaucepan – good 🙂 I hope it works for you too!

    Heidi xo

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds June 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Oh yum – I haven't made Kefta in ages. I always forget how yummy they are until I'm eating them!

  • msihua June 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Yum! Now that we're practically neighbours.. I WANTTTTT

  • Heidi June 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Julia – me too!!

    Msihua – hehe, I should throw a Kefta party 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • blackbookkitchendiaries June 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    kefta looks so yummy! wish i had some now:)

  • Anna Johnston June 13, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Mmmmm, tzatzaki. Jamie is one of my fave go to guys too, he makes food happy (weird I know.., but I always feel whatever recipe he's instructing…, it'll be a snap).

  • Heidi June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

    blackbookkitchendiaries – me too 🙂

    Anna – I completely understand what you're saying, and I agree! Jamie = happy 🙂

    Heidi xo