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spiced up lamb Koofteh

I have made a lot of meatballs with beef, turkey, pork, and veal but Persian cuisine introduced me to the lamb meatball.  Each region has a different name for its version of the meatball made with different spices and seasonings, in Turkey it is kofte, Persian koofteh, and Arab countries, kefta.

Different to Italian meatballs, these are most traditionally formed into round meatballs and then flattened into a small hamburger shape, in long or short oblong shapes that are fatter in the middle, or severed on a skewer.

Regardless of the name or the shape, these are delicious and a great alternative to its Italian meatball cousin.

spiced up lamb Koofteh

I have made a lot of meatballs with beef, turkey, pork, and veal but Persian cuisine introduced me to the lamb meatball.  Each region has a different name for its version of the meatball made with different spices and seasonings, in Turkey it is kofte, Persian koofteh, and Arab countries, kefta.

Different to Italian meatballs, these are most traditionally formed into round meatballs and then flattened into a small hamburger shape, in long or short oblong shapes that are fatter in the middle, or severed on a skewer.

Regardless of the name or the shape, these are delicious and a great alternative to its Italian meatball cousin.

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 6-10
2 pounds (about 1 kg) ground lamb, not too lean
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ tablespoons crushed sea salt flakes
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, lightly smashed
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped with stalks is fine
4 large eggs, beaten
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Garnish: pine nuts and parsley
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thoughts&stories

The meat can be made ahead which allows the flavors to infuse together.  For some reason, cooking these always take a bit longer than imagined so I like to prepare koofteh well ahead of serving, usually the morning of the dinner. Then I keep them out at room temperature covered with aluminum foil after they have cooled (because you do not want them to continue to cook).

A half an hour before serving, you can place in a heat proof pan in a 170F oven to keep warm before serving.

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spiced up lamb Koofteh
  • time
    1 hour
  • serves
    6
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

Directions

1
Done

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil leaving out a few pinches of pine nuts and parsley for garnish

2
Done

Work the lamb mixture until meat has broken down and egg and spices are evenly distributed.

3
Done

Shape seasoned lamb into golf ball-size meatballs and press down into a hamburger shape or shape into uniform oblong pieces about 4 inches long.

4
Done

Add two tablespoons olive oil to large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry koofteh, working in batches, until browned on all sides, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked koofteh to an ovenproof dish.

5
Done

Keep warm in oven or you can serve at room temperature. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley for garnish.

6
Done

Serve with a side of cucumber and mint yoghurt. click here