Kofta kebab

We fancied lamb for Easter, but didn’t feel like a roast. The answer came with the weather forecast; it was a gloriously sunny weekend, so I hauled the barbecue out for its first kebab recipe of the year.

This juicy, spicy kebab, also called a kofte kebab, is great served with a selection of mezze-type spreads, salad and pitta bread. I made hummus and tzatziki (just a tub of yoghurt with a generous handful of chopped mint and very finely chopped raw garlic), and a big bowl of aubergine caviar. Cooked over charcoal, the kebabs are deliciously smoky, but if the weather isn’t up to it you can cook them under the grill.

To make about eight kebabs you’ll need:

500g good-quality lamb mince
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large handful fresh parsley
1 small handful fresh mint
1 large egg
Salt and pepper

Grind the cumin and coriander roughly in a mortar and pestle with a teaspoon of salt. Put the spices, herbs, onions, garlic and the egg in a food processor and blitz until everything is chopped. Add the meat and blitz again until everything is well-mixed. (Don’t completely purée the meat – aim for a reasonably rough texture.)

Form handfuls of the meat mixture around bamboo skewers. (The skewers make the kebabs really easy to turn and move around on the grill, as well as holding things together.) Grill on a hot barbecue or under the kitchen grill for about ten minutes, turning regularly. Serve immediately.

7 Replies to “Kofta kebab”

  1. I substitute the mint for fresh corriander, add more chilli pepper with some lemon juice and serve it with tzaziki to cool it down. Good recipe, I find cous cous is a great accompaniment.

  2. Hi Liz, I’m in the middle of making these, got to putting them on the skewers but the mixture is very soft and they won’t hold together or stay on the sticks. Not sure what I’ve done wrong. Any suggestions what I could add to firm it up?

  3. Hi Avadore – afraid I’m not quite sure what’s happened to your kebabs! You could try adding some breadcrumbs (a tablespoon at a time) to the mixture to make it a bit drier. Where was your mince from? Some unscrupulous supermarkets add water to their mince to bulk it out – I’m wondering whether that might have happened to yours.

  4. Have been using this recipe for while now and thought it was about time I thanked you!
    I add a couple of chillis sliced very thinly into the main mix and serve with natural Greek yoghurt with mint sauce stirred in dribbled over the kebabs and place them in some wraps with fine chopped tomatoes and some rocket.
    (*even makes the lunch box next day for school).

    Lovely, and kid friendly too!

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