Kofta or Kufta is a simple dish, small balls of minced meat – usually lamb or mutton blended with fresh herbs, aromatic spices, garlic and/or onions. These meatballs are very popular in Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, and there is no fixed recipe, each cook adds their favourite spices like chilli, cinnamon or cardamom. I highly recommend you to not omit fresh herbs; mint, coriander and parsley give kofta amazing freshness. Lamb meat is often used for kofta, but if you don’t eat lamb meat or it’s too fatty for you – you can easily substitute it with beef; in that case I suggest you to add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter for richness. And of course, the meat should be finely minced.
Kofta meatballs can be grilled, fried or even baked. Serve them with rice, fresh tomatoes and olives. I love to eat them wrapped in Arabic bread with a slice of roast eggplant, tomato and chopped fresh herbs, and dipping this lip-smacking wrap into hummus. 🙂
500g finely ground lamb
100ml sparkling mineral water
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp harissa paste, optional
S&P to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil for frying
Arabic bread, hummus, chopped iceberg and herbs
- In a large bowl, mix meat with water. Add garlic, herbs, spices, season to taste and mix throughly with you hand.
- Form small meatballs, the size of walnut.
- Heat the frying pan with oil, add kofta meatballs and fry all over for 6-7 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve with bread, lettuce, herbs and hummus, if desired.