Na’an-lamb kofta dumplings with fattoush salad

I really came up with this dish when I was watching My Kitchen Rules and saw a pair of Jordanians, Sonya and Hadil, prepare a gorgeous fattoush salad. Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad prepared with a lot of vegetables and a flatbread-type of component. For my take on it, I wanted to take the flatbread and transform it into dumplings to wrap around a lamb kofta filling. Lamb kofta is basically a Middle Eastern meatball scented with lots of spices and herbs, so in a sense, it is a very perfect filling for an Asian-styled potsticker. Rather than just stuff the kofta into a normal dumpling wrapper and call it a day, I opted to make my own na’an dough to do it with, just because I love the texture of seared dough. Kofta, fattoush, flatbread, and tzatziki are a really common pairing, so this would be my riff on that.

Just to make my salad pretty, I used candy cane beets, which are dropdead gorgeous. I used every part of the beet that I could, just because I paid for the damn thing, so I needed to use up all of it, but also because there’s a beauty to every part of the vegetable. I figured that out of all of the vegetables available, that the beets just have the dish the whimsy and height that it needed.

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For the kofta filling:
1/2 pound ground lamb
a pinch of paprika
a pinch of sumac
1 clove minced garlic
a pinch of salt
a pinch of za’atar
a pinch of coriander
a pinch of cumin
a pinch of curry powder
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1 egg

Combine together into a homogenous mixture.

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For na’an dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup ghee
1/4 cup water
1 packet dry-active yeast + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg + another egg for egg wash
3 tablespoons yogurt
a pinch of salt

Activate yeast in water with sugar. Combine ingredients and allow to sit. Roll through a pasta machine until the dough begins extremely thin. Use the egg wash to seal the dough shut once stuffed with the kofta filling.

For the actual cooking of the dumplings, seal the dough with the filling, and first bake the dough at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, then finish off by searing in a lightly oiled nonstick pan, for about 1-2 minutes, until the bottom of golden to brown off the na’an bread exterior.

For the salad:
1/2 a Persian cucumber; sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup green grapes
1 small white onion; shaved
3 candy cane beets; peeled
Beet greens from three candy cane beets
Beet stems from three candy cane beets
3 tablespoons chiffonaded mint
Pomegranate seeds*

Rolls the cucumber in salt before slicing it, just to impart more flavor into the vegetable. Rinse the beets thoroughly, as they contain a ton of dirt. Shave vegetables on the mandolin. Chiffonade the beet greens. Allow the onion and every part of the beet, once sliced, to soak in the vinaigrette, just to tenderize them.

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For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
Juice from 1 lemon + zest
1/3 cup olive oil
A pinch of sumac
A pinch of za’atar

Mix together.

Tzatziki:
1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
a pinch of dill
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
a pinch of salt

Combine together.

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Assembly: Start with the tzatziki on the bottom. Garnish with salad, topping off with the ribbons of cucumber and shaved beets. Finish with the dumplings. For my presentation, I sliced them in half, just to showcase the filling (and because I made mine on the larger side, and this ain’t an Olive Garden, so no fat-ass portions, just anorexic “fine-dining” ones).

 

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