Leaner, healthier & keeping the same loved flavour

Dawood Basha is one of the most famous Levantine stews, especially in Arabic cuisine restaurants, you are very likely to see this dish on the menus. It is a flavoursome dish that happens to be a crowd pleaser. While the classic recipe calls for using lamb meat, and usually not in the form of Kofta but rather as cubes and at times on the bone, I have chosen to go for kofta Kebabs in this recipe, made with OBE Organic Beef. First, I wanted the choice to be organic meat for an all organic recipe, and OBE Organic Beef is widely available in the UAE. Secondly, beef is leaner than lamb too so it is a good option when you are limiting the amount of fat in the recipe. I have substituted the classic samneh (traditional clarified butter) with my beautiful olive oil for a leaner and healthier option too. With that said, there is no compromise on the flavour here. Try it this way and you will see that it tastes just as good.

Note that you can shape the Kofta into balls or kebabs.


Serves: 4 Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • 1Kg organic onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1Kg organic tomatoes, peeled and pureed
  • 1 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • 1 litre Organic Beef Broth
  • DS Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 organic lemon

For making Kofta Balls or Kebabs

  • 1Kg Minced OBE Organic Beef
  • 1 small organic red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove organic garlic, crushed
  • 1 bunch organic parsley, use leaves only, washed and drained
  • DS Himalayan Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Start by making the Kofta balls/Kebabs.
Place the meat, the quartered onion, garlic and washed parsley leaves in a food processor and season with salt and black pepper then process until smooth. Remove from the processor, using a measuring spoon divide the kofta into 1 tbsp pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by rolling between your slightly dampened palms, or by shaping into Kebabs (roll the ball onto a short sausage). Repeat until all kofta pieces are shaped.

Grease a baking tray with olive oil, and place the shaped pieces on it, rolling them in the oil to coat. Season lightly with salt and black pepper and roast in 450F oven for exactly 5 minutes, turning once throughout. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.

  • I usually serve these in mini size along with a minted yogurt dip for pass around cocktail parties or as an appetiser before a meal. Always loved!
  • If you use fresh meat (not frozen and thawed), then you can make the Kofta mix and freeze it for when you wish to cook Kofta or make the cocktail bites kofta sausages mentioned above.


In a large deep saucepan, caramelise the onions in the olive oil, over medium heat until golden (do not overcook or the taste will become bitter). In this step you will stir the onions very often, and better keep the saucepan covered in order not to scorch the onions.

Once caramelised, add the beef broth and bring to the boil, then add the pureed tomatoes and tomato paste and season to taste.

Add the Kofta balls/Kebabs and lemon juice, stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve hot, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley to garnish, alongside rice pilaf and a side of yogurt.

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