there is no doubt about the history of Jewish being in Libyan, they lived here for years and years before they all left the country, but still there are dishes knows as Jewish dishes or let’s say they are Libyan dishes but were created by the Jewish who used to live here.
the kofta with caramelized onion tomato sauce is one of the west side of Libya’s famous dishes, it can be considered as luxurious sometimes, i mean if you were invited for dinner and you found it as part of the menu then you MUST be dear to those who invited you lol.
anyways, there is a secret ingredient in the recipe which gives it the acidic flavor that kicks in with all the other flavors from kofta and onions sauce,IT IS vinegar, yes its Vinegar, i believe ( personal opinion ) its a substitute for the wine to make it a Halal dish lol but anyways i just think its not traditional without that flavor.
as simple as it is shown in the photos above, mix all kofta ingredients together very well then form its as equal balls, one quick advice is to do NOT start flatten them in the flour till you are 100% sure your oil is hot and ready for frying otherwise they will form a thick layer of flour that wont be nice later.
this is the perfect recipe into making the onions tender for the sauce later, just make sure you cook it on low heat and your pan is a nonstick kind of pans, the salt will get all those onions nice and tender slowly while making the sauce, then you can simply mix both together.
i mentioned this before and i’m gonna say it again and please DO NOT skip this one ingredient coz seriously it will not turn out the same and it wont be the traditional kofta dish we grew up eating.
( For the kofta )
500g minced beef
1 large onion finely chopped
½ cup parsley finally chopped
¼ cup bread crumps
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. paprika
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
( for the caramelized onion sauce )
2 large onions cut into thin slices
¼ cup of the frying vegetable
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tsp. apple or grapes vinegar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ cup water
White flour for coating
Vegetable oil for frying
For the kofta
In a deep bowl mix all kofta ingredients then transfer into your food processor, pulse for 2 mints or till all well combined and has a smooth texture.
Divide the batter into equal size balls, cover with flour then flatten each ball into a kofta shape.
In a deep frying pan, heat the vegetable oil then fry your kofta in batches, don’t put too many at once, that will cool down the oil heat and will make the kofta too oily, transfer all the kofta on a kitchen paper towel and leave while making the sauce.
for the sauce
In a sauce pan heat the ¼ cup of kofta frying oil then add onions, stir for 2 mintues till starts to golden, add tomatoe paste, all the spices,salt and stir, allow the mixture to create bubbles of oil on the surface then add water, bring to boil, cover and let it cook on a low heat till all the liquid evaporated and those oil bubble are back on surface.
meanwhile, In another sauce pan, heat the oil then add all your opinion slices, salt and stir well, cover and let it cook on a low heat till all the onions are tender ( for about 15 minutes ) then pour it over the tomatoes sauce, stir well and allow to cool.
Place the kofta on your presenting plate in a single layer, cover each kofta with the caramelized onion sauce.