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Authentic Kofta Kebab Recipe

Kofta kebab is a dish that has plenty of fond memories surrounding it. As a child, I remember my dad would go to the butcher store and bring back a mixture of ground meat, onions, parsley, and garlic. My mom would also add her own spice mix. We had a small, outdoor mangal grill, and my dad would light the fire and slowly grill the kebabs. I always patiently watched as I waited to get to eat them. 

Kofta Kebab is one of my favorite dishes to make in summertime, especially when I have friends and family over to enjoy it with me. I invested in a commercial meat grinder mainly to make ground lamb for kebabs. I ground the lamb and then used the meat grinder to grind the vegetables. Once everything is ground up, I mix in all the spices by hand.

A few other recipes like to add bread or bread crumbs to the meat mixture. This is primarily to hold the meat mixture and prevent it from falling apart when grilling. However, I don’t like to use this method since the bread takes away some of the fat, creating a dryer kofta. After mixing the meat with the spices, I split the mixture into the correct portions. Then, I keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then brush them lightly with olive oil. The most important tip is not to flip them more than once on the grill. Instead, wait 4 minutes, then flip them and grill for another 3 minutes on the other side. Once they have been grilled on both sides, your kofta kebabs are ready! 

What is Kofta?

Kofta is a type of meatball that originated in The Middle East. It is typically made with ground lamb, mutton, or beef and various vegetables such as garlic, peppers, onions, and spices. Kofta can be formed into various shapes such as cylinders, balls, patties, or even the typical long kebab shape. Like other kebabs, Kofta kebabs are formed over long skewers and grilled on an open flame. 

Variations of Kofta Kebab

Although kofta is generally made with ground meat, some recipes call for it to be made with fish or vegetables. There are plenty of different ways to flavor kofta, and some people like to add nuts, cheese, eggs, or different spices. Kofta tends to be made a little differently in each country or region in the Middle East.



Adjust Servings
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
1 medium-size onion (cut into big chunks)
1 bunch parsley (either curly or Italian, works)
3 cloves garlic
1 or 2 jalapeno pepper are cut into big pieces (it depend on your taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon sumac
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)


Chop onion, garlic parsley, and jalapeno in a food processor
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In a big bowl, mix the ground lamb and beef thoroughly
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Add the onion mixture to the meat mixture, followed by all the spices
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Using your hands, work the spices into the meat like kneading bread for a good 3 minutes
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To the meat mixture into an equal size meatball shape, lay the meatballs on a lined plate with wax paper and keep in the fridge for about 2 hours
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To form the meatball into the skewers, hold the skewers in one hand with the other hand, slide the meatball into the skewer, and start molding the meat around by pushing the meat down the skewer, making sure the top and the bottom are tight closes and its about 1 inch wide
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Brush the both side of the Kuta skewers with a very thin layer of olive oil, and Keep them on a lined tray with parchment paper
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Place them on a hot grill for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve warm. Enjoy
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What to Serve With Kofta?
Kofta is a delicious meaty kebab that can be served with many different types of rice. You can serve kofta with some Middle Eastern rice to absorb the delicious fats and flavors from the grilled kebabs. Some examples of rice include saffron rice, cranberry rice, or even herb rice. Kofta also tastes delicious with dips and sauces such as tzatziki, hummus, baba ghanoush, and many more. Serve kofta with fresh vegetables, flatbread, and some creamy dips, and you have a perfect meal!
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How to Store Kofta?
The most affordable way to make kofta is to buy ground meat in bulk. If you happen to have a lot of leftover koftas, no worries! You can keep kofta covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you want to make extra to store for much later, you can also free the kofta for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw the kebabs overnight in the refrigerator before reheating them.
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How to Reheat Kofta?
You can either reheat kofta in the microwave or heat it on a grill. To reheat it in the microwave, place the kofta on a microwave-safe dish and heat it for about 1 minute or until warm. If you are reheating kofta on the grill, place it on a hot grill for about 2 minutes per side.
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