Kebab, kabob, kofta – whatever you call this, it’s fragrant, it’s exotic, and it’s fantastic for midweek because it’s something different but so easy and fast to make. And perfect for summer grilling! These Lamb Kofta Kebabs are adapted from a recipe by Efendy, a popular Turkish restaurant in Balmain, Sydney.
Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs
I was watching the latest Food Safari series called Fire the other night which showcases food from around the world cooked over charcoals and in wood fired ovens. I have neither a charcoal grill nor a wood fired pizza oven, but when I saw these Turkish lamb kofta kebabs, I knew straight away that these would be still be fabulous made on the stove or on an ordinary gas BBQ.
I’m really fond of my Middle Eastern Kebabs, but they require more spices than these! So this easy recipe really appealed to me. They really did take 30 minutes to make, from start to finish.
A simple Turkish Spice Mix
The original lamb kofta kebab recipe is made using a combination of veal and lamb mince (ground meat) plus lamb fat. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know where to get lamb fat here in Sydney!
So to make this midweek, I made a few alterations. I kept the spice mix the same – super simple, just pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes. But I added extra flavour by adding onion and garlic to compensate for the absence of lamb fat.
I know, I know, onion and garlic isn’t the same as lamb fat but they definitely do add extra flavour!!
The original lamb kofta kebab recipe calls for pistachio nuts too, which I included because I happened to have them in my pantry. Only because I visited a Middle Eastern grocery a few weeks before and got overly excited by how cheap the pistachios were!
They definitely add an extra layer of flavour and richness into the lamb kofta kebabs. But these are worth making even if you don’t have pistachios. Truly. – Nagi x
Serve this Lamb Kofta Kebab with…
Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)
Flatbreads (homemade or store bought), shredded lettuce, tomato and onion slices
And/or a pilaf – these will go very well with these Koftas:
And another Turkish street food favourite – Gozleme!
Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs
- 1 lb / 500g lamb mince (ground lamb) (or substitute with beef)
- 1 small onion , grated or minced using a food processor - about 1/4 cup (white, brown or yellow) (Note 1)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/4 cup pistachio nuts , ground (Optional. I use my food processor) (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (table salt, not flakes, use 2 1/2 tsp if using kosher or sea salt flakes)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup plain yoghurt (I use Greek)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 garlic clove , minced
- Salt and pepper
- Pita bread or lebanese flat bread , warmed
- Lettuce leaves of choice
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced red onion
- Mix together Yoghurt Sauce ingredients and place in the refrigerator to allow the flavours to develop.
- Place the Kebab ingredients except the oil in a bowl and use your hands to just combine (don't over mix).
- Divide into 8 portions and mould onto skewers.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add skewers (I could fit all in, placing them in alternating directions) and cook for 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides.
- Meanwhile, slice tomatoes and red onion.
- Serve kebabs with pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and yoghurt sauce on the side. Wedges of lemon are also a great accompaniment.
Life of Dozer
When yogurt got flung on his nose…