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Lamb Kofta


I have had Kofta at restaurants before, but I was never quite sure what about it defined it as kofta. After doing some research, I don't really think there is anything! Kofta seems to just be Middle Eastern spiced meatballs. There are hundreds and hundreds of different recipes for them. Most have grated or blended onions in them, but after that, it's wide open. We made these with some mint from the garden (a common addition) and grated pepper and onion. These are something different you could take to a BBQ, but it would be really helpful to make them on flat skewers because my kofta were very fragile as I was placing them on the grill.

Mint and marjoram. I almost never use mint besides in the occasional cocktail, but I would like to / am trying to use it more often in savory dishes.

If you only have these round wooden skewers, you have to be sure to make the kofta thin or it will rip.

You can eat these however you want. Over couscous, with yogurt, or right off the stick at a bbq are all acceptable. We decided to eat them in a pita with some tomatoes, onions, feta, and tatziki. Kind of like a gyro.

Placing them CAREFULLY on the grill.  Make sure to oil the grill and the kofta.

Yum. Look at the steam.

This was really tasty! The meat had an interesting flavor and the toppings satisfied our recent cravings for tatziki and feta. I make tatziki a lot so I will probably make it a basics post in the next week or so, but for now, use this recipe. As always, you can make the naan from my naan basics post. The other thing is just tomatoes and onions and feta diced and put in a bowl. I just realized that this meat would be pretty tasty shaped into a burger as well.

1 lb ground lamb
1 packed cup of grated onion and pepper (about 1 pepper and a half onion)
2 cloves garlic grated or minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
½ Tablespoon cumin
½ Tablespoon coriander
Teaspoon cinnamon
Teaspoon salt
Teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients, place on a skewer in a hot dog type shape. See above if you are confused about the shape.


Kefta! I love kefta. It's a favorite around this house, yet we haven't made it in a long time. You just gave me an idea of what to do with some leftover lamb and the new grinder attachment I'm dying to use.

I'm going to try making these this Friday, on a BBQ. I plan to make them a day in advance and then tightly wrap them in cling-film in order to make the flavours come together and to make them bind properly for the grill - maybe making them in advance would have helped you out?


Whats a good alternative to mint in these sorts of things? I cant have mint in my diet.

I suppose I could just double up on the marjoram, but do you have any other suggestions?

@Oglove - If it is a sensitivity, I can understand the need for no mint. I would hazard a guess to say some greek oregano, or even some fenugreek, like Beardie says. You can also find it labeled as "Kasoori Methi" in Asian food markets.

What a cool post! I especially love the pictures, they really make it. If one did not want to make naan, would a good greek pita hold out?

How well would any other protiens hold out with this? Would one need to up the ratio of fat? I was hankering to try this out with beef...

Mint...thats one herb that i don't use much of. I only use it in yogurt dips pretty much. It grows like crazy too in the garden. I need to start finding ways to cook with mint. I dunno, to me mint always seems to be a 'drink' ingredient ever since growing up. Time to venture i think.

@Oglovefood is one of my colleages - he isn't allergic to mint - but the taste of it nauseates him.. Means no gum to be chewed in/on his desk!

I'm currently researching a charcoal BBQ to go along with these koftas - want to prepare myself for the summer.

We totally rocked these koftas! I chopped the veg instead of grating it - which didn't work as well as I would have liked - but I did the prep work v.late on a Thursday night and wasn't thinking straight.

I also made a tatziki sauce - but I use dill instead of mint or parsley - you should try it!

I think if I made these again, I'd grate the veg and then drain it a little so the mixture is a little dryer.

Here's some pictures, please excuse the terrible camera phone.

Preparing for some grill-love:


The result: (this one was already partially eaten.. I got excited!)

Lamb is probably my favorite meat. Adding mint and onions is something my family has always done with it for obvious salivating reasons. Lamb burgers made in the same way are good too.

Try spreading some of that yogurt (lebne) that you mad on the bread next time you have these, it adds so much! Damn I'm hungry!!

Made these tonight, and they were awesome! They're a lot easier than they look.