Lamb Lollipops (Quick Lamb Koftas)

Don't worry, I haven't gone mad, freezing lamb in lollipop moulds... it's just that after I made these a couple of times, they became known in the family as 'lamb lollipops'. Biting it off the stick makes the children feel like they're eating a lolly. For grown-ups, of course, they're just koftas. Minced lamb, seasoned with garlic, parsley and cumin (add some chopped mint in there too if you like) wrapped around a wooden skewer and grilled until cooked.

lamb lollipops from above

I serve these, stacked up on a plate, at the table along with some chopped Romaine lettuce, marinated olives, sliced tomatoes, hummus and wholemeal pitta breads - the girls just dig in and it's one of those dinners where I know they're going to eat everything on their plate.

The lamb cooks in about 7 minutes under a grill, but if you like (the fat in the lamb can pop and hiss onto the bars of an electric grill, producing a lot of smoke sometimes) you can always cook them as burger shapes in a pan with a little olive oil. I love them pulled off their skewers and stuffed greedily into a hummus-spread pitta along with some Romaine lettuce.

Lamb Lollipops (Quick Lamb Koftas)
Makes 8
500g lean minced lamb
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
pinch of sea salt
grinding of black pepper
8 metal or wooden skewers (I use the type that holds burgers together)
few tablespoons of olive oil

Put the minced lamb in a bowl and add the cumin, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until just combined - don't overmix or the lamb can turn tough and rubbery. Divide the mixture into eight. Pick up a skewer and pick up one of the portions of lamb. Wrap the meat around the skewer until  it's evenly covered, and hides the point at the top, which if wooden, will burn while grilling.

Lay the skewers on a foil-lined grill tray and drizzle with olive oil. Slide under the grill and cook for about 7 minutes, turning once halfway through. Once they're cooked, serve straight away with salads, pittas, dips and olives. These are also great with couscous which has been seasoned with a little lemon juice and parsley. These lamb koftas would also make great barbecue food, too.

lamb lollipops in stuffed pitta