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gboss kofta kebabs

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    gboss kofta kebabs

    I first encountered kofta in Toronto, Ontario on July 30th 2003 during the "SARS stock" festival. My friends and I had driven up from New York, mainly to see Rush and the Rolling Stones. We had not eaten all day, on account of saving our places near the stage in a 450,000 person crowd and we were quite peckish whilst walking back to the car after the show was over. There were enterprising food vendors set up, and I ordered a "kebab," thinking that I was going to get meat and veggie chunks on a stick. When I was given a pita sandwich with kofta in it, my mind was blown. I had never eaten anything of that flavor before. I've been chasing that first kofta experience ever since. I've since had versions in Turkey, Egypt, Israel, UAE and India, not to mention numerous ethnic restaurants in other countries.

    I will make no claim of this recipe's authenticity, however I have been to a number of countries which have their version of Kofta, so I'd like to think I have a decent handle on what a good one tastes like. This is a recipe I put together by combining ingredients and technique from some other recipes. I think it's quite good.

    If there is a more appropriate category for this recipe, I would be happy to move it.

    Prep time: 30 minutes (longer if you grind the meat yourself)
    Cook time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 8

    1lb ground lamb (80/20 preferred)
    1lb ground beef (also 80/20 preferred)
    1/4 cup almonds
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1/4 cup walnuts
    8 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 medium yellow onion
    1 bunch parsley, washed and de-stemmed
    1 piece of bread (heel or bun is fine)
    2 tsp kosher salt
    2 tbsp ground coriander
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground allspice
    1/2 tsp cayenne
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    2 tsp ground black pepper
    2 tsp sumac

    Step 1: finely chop the nuts in a food processor. You don't want a paste, but they will stick together in clumps from the natural fat. This is fine.

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    Step 2: lightly toast the nuts in a skillet, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside in a separate container.

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    Step 3: put the onion, parsley, and garlic in the food processor and finely mince.

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    Step 4: transfer the finely minced garlic, onion, and parsley into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. press down to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the mince.

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    Step 5: Toast the bread (optional) and soak the bread in the separated onion liquid.

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    Step 5: Mix together the parsley, garlic, onion and the nuts. Add all the spices. Squeeze out the liquid from the soaked bread as best you can and add to the mix.
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    Step 6: Mix in the ground beef and the ground lamb until everything is well incorporated. Divide into 8 equal portions and form into balls

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    Step 7: Thread the meat onto skewers as balls and then form them out into a cigar shape while on the skewers. Salt the formed skewers slightly.

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    Step 8: Grill over high heat until you have good color on the outside.

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    Serve with flatbread/pita, fresh veggies (cucumber, radish, lettuce), tahini/hummus/yogurt sauce

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    Last edited by gboss; June 2, 2021, 10:51 AM. Reason: Edit: added background, prep and cooking times, # served.

    If someone were to ask me my favorite food, hands down it’s kafta. The best I’ve ever had was at a restaurant back in Detroit. It’s probably gone now. I also saw ATK recipe that I have yet to try. But, yers really caught my attention. Man, I really have to try it. I actually have 4 maybe 6 friends who would try it. Dang, you’ve got me worked up. Thanks!


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      You've got friends??

    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Let us know when and we'll be on our way!

    • gboss
      gboss commented
      Editing a comment
      The first time I had kofta, it was in Toronto on the day of SARS Stock, walking back to my car after not having eaten all day on account of us saving our place in the crowd for the concert. Rush, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones got our appetites worked up. There was a roadside vendor selling "kebabs" while we were walking back. Up until that point in my life, that was the most delicious thing I'd put in my mouth. I've been chasing that one ever since. Cheers!

    Looks great!


    • gboss
      gboss commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

    How does it pair with PBR?
    Looks almost too good to eat. Yep, it sure does.


    • gboss
      gboss commented
      Editing a comment
      I haven't yet tried the exact combination, but is there really something that isn't enhanced by a cold PBR?

      I would imagine it pairs quite nicely with PBR!

      Of course, (nsfw: language):

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL, go PBR.

    I was hoping you would post the recipe, gboss , ever since I saw your post over on SUWYC. This looks so delicious. Thanks!



      Thank you for sharing this recipe. Looks great.


        This sounds great! The first time I ever had a ground meat kebab was maybe 15-20 years ago in a Turkish place in Tempe, AZ. I didn't know kebabs even came in ground meat form, but WOW, what a revelation. I've tried a couple of recipes since then, but they were too bland. This one sounds kick-a$$--lot's of spices and, oh man, the nuts too! Plus, I have the wide skewers that are perfect for ground meats. Gonna try this REAL soon!

        Last edited by Willy; April 26, 2021, 10:49 AM.


          Thanks for the positive comments, everyone! I'm really looking forward to someone cooking this and reporting back!

          Cheers and happy cooking!


            Much obliged to you for sharing this formula. Looks extraordinary.


              I made these and the flavors were WONDERFUL! Alas, mine were a bit too wet and fell apart on the grill, but that seems easy to fix next time. Thanks so much for this recipe! Super tasty!


                Don't know how I missed this one. I LOVE lamb kofta, did them a couple of times and always turned out delicious. Thanks for the great write-up. I especially like making the wraps out of them, great alternative to eating separate. Kudos, I shall save this to Paprika for later use !!!


                  I am going to try this this weekend, I think. It looks just, just well, wonderful!!!

                  What did you use for the yogurt sauce?
                  Last edited by klflowers; June 2, 2021, 12:14 PM.


                  • Troutman
                    Troutman commented
                    Editing a comment
                    klflowers I'd just make up a tzatziki sauce. Lots of recipes on line for that.

                  • klflowers
                    klflowers commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Troutman that works. I didn’t think of that.

                  Here you go. These were so dang good, thanks for posting. I made some tzatziki per
                  Troutman suggestion, and I had some pickled red onions.
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                    Thanks, I'll try to repeat



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