This tutorial is all you need to make the BEST authentic Kofta kebab recipe. Grilled kofta (or kefta) are skewers of ground beef and lamb mixed with fresh parsley, onions, garlic and warm Middle Eastern spices! These kabobs will feed a crowd and there are many sides and salads you can serve alongside (lots of ideas at the bottom of this post). And be sure to watch the video and the step-by-step tutorial!
Watch the video for how to make these Kofta Kebabs
What is Kofta or Kefta?
Let's chat kofta kebabs. The word kofta (or kefta) has its origins in Persian, and it means grounded or pounded. You can have meat kofta, seafood kofta or even a vegetarian kofta.
But today's kofta kebab recipe is one of the more popular dishes in Egypt--a mixture of ground beef and lamb, blended with onions, garlic, parsley and a few of my favorite Middle Eastern spices including, allspice, cardamom, sumac, and nutmeg. Flavor heaven!
My earliest memory of kofta kebab goes back to my elementary school days and a place called Tamimi, a family-owned restaurant near Port Said's Mediterranean shores.
Tamimi was no fancy place, it was more of a "hut" with a couple of large grills lined with kebabs of all kinds. The word "busy" does not quite describe how wonderfully chaotic Tamimi was. For a good reason, though. Tamimi served the best kofta kebabs, and that's where everyone wanted to be.
There are more than a dozen ways to prepare kofta kebab. This kofta kabab recipe is easy and fairly authentic. It is my best rendition of Tamimi's; and a tribute to Port Said, my Mediterranean hometown.
Let me show you step-by-step how easy it is to make kofta (Kefta), and I have a bunch of ideas below for what you can serve along.
Step-by-Step for this Grilled Kofta Recipe:
*Note: If you're using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using so they don't catch on fire.1. Chop onions garlic and parsley in food processor.
2. Now, add ground beef, lamb, bread (make sure to squeeze out any water out of the bread), and spices. Run processor. Scrape sides of processor and run again until the meat mixture is well combined.
3. Remove the meat mixture from the food processor and place in a large bowl. Take a fistful portion of the meat mixture and mold it on a wooden skewer. Repeat the process until you have run out of meat.
3. b) Be sure each kofta kebab is about 1 inch in thickness, this is best for grilling. Lay the kofta kebabs on a tray lined with parchment paper for now.
4. Place kofta kebabs on the lightly oiled, heated gas grill. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 3-4 minutes (total of 7-8 minutes.)
5. Serve the kofta kebabs immediately with pita bread, tahini and fixings (tomato wedges, onions, more parsley) and other sides you prepared (see ideas just below!)
What to Serve Along Kofta (Kefta)?
These kofta kebabs are a big crowd pleaser, and you can easily turn them into a big Mediterranean picnic by adding a few sides and salads. The possibilities of what to serve alongside kofta kebabs (or kabobs) are endless! Here are just a few thoughts..
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A must-try authentic Kofta kebab recipe: ground beef and lamb mixed with fresh parsley, onions, garlic and Middle Eastern spices. Add some Mediterranean sides and salads for your next picnic! (Ideas and video in post above)
- 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 whole bunch parsley, stems removed (about 2 packed cups parsley leaves)
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ lb ground lamb
- 1 slice of bread, toasted until browned and soaked in water until fully tender
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground green cardamom
- ½ tsp ground sumac
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp paprika
- Pita bread to serve
For the Fixings:
- Tahini Sauce
- Tomato wedges
- Onion wedges
- More parsley
- Soak 10 wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water when you are ready to begin. Lightly oil the grates of a gas grill and preheat it to medium-high for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare pita bread and fixings. If you plan to, make the tahini sauce from this recipe. Prepare other sides and salads before you begin grilling.
- In a food processor, chop the onion, garlic, and parsley.
- Add the beef, lamb, bread (be sure to squeeze out the water completely), and the spices. Run the processor until all is well combined forming a pasty meat mixture.
- Remove the meat mixture from the food processor and place in a large bowl. Take a fistful portion of the meat mixture and mold it on a wooden skewer. Repeat the process until you have run out of meat. For best results, make sure each kofta kebab is about 1 inch in thickness.
- Lay the skewered kofta kebabs on a tray lined with parchment paper
- Place the kofta kebabs on the lightly oiled, heated gas grill. Grill on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve the kofta kebabs immediately with pita bread, tahini and the fixings you prepared. See suggestions for sides and related recipes.
- Cook's Note: For gluten free, simply omit the toasted bread.
- Cook's Note: If you prefer, you can use an all-beef or all-lamb for the kofta mixture
- Recommended for this recipe our all-natural allspice; cardamom, sumac, nutmeg and paprika.
- SAVE! Try Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle, or create your own 6-pack of all-natural and organic Mediterranean spices.
- Visit The Mediterranean Dish shop
- Category: Entree
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Kofta, Kofta Kebab, Kabob, lamb kebab