Lamb Kofta

Middle-Eastern style spiced meat mixture.

4 servings

Time: 35 mins

Ethan ChlebowskiBy Ethan Chlebowski

There are many types of kofta all over the Middle East (and spellings — kofte/kofta/kefta). This isn’t a specific variation of one, but a base technique that I use to make new and exciting dishes in less than 20 minutes.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Meat mixture

    • ground lamb
      454 g1 lb
    • salt
      7 g1.5 % per meat weight
    • garlic
      1 clove
    • parsley
      , minced
      1 handful
    • kofta spice mix
      1 spoonful
    • onions
      , grated
  • Kofta spice mix

    • cumin
      2 parts2 spoonfuls
    • chili powder
      1 part1 spoonful
    • paprika
      1 part1 spoonful
    • fresh oregano
      1 part1 spoonful
    • ground cinnamon
      a sprinkle
  • Yogurt sauce

    • yogurt
      2 parts2 spoonfuls
    • garlic
      , grated
    • lemon juice
      1/2 part1/2 spoonful
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • black pepper
      a sprinkle
    • sumac
      a sprinkle
    • lemon zest
      a sprinkle
  • Serve with

    • lavash bread
    • tomatoes
      , thinly sliced
    • arugula
    • pickled onions
    • feta
      , crumbed


Step 1: Make the kofta spice mix

Place the cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl or container and mix it all together.

  • Note: If you have extra, keep this spice mix in a jar and use it in the future as a Mediterranean blend.

Step 2: Mix the meat

Add the ground lamb to a bowl and add the salt.

  • Note: the meat should get 1.5% of salt by meat weight

For the aromatics, grate in the onion, garlic clove and parsley. Lastly, add a spoonful of the kofta spice mixture.

Mix the meat together with your hands for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes a cohesive mass and sticks together.

Step 3: Form the meat & sear

Add a splash of water to your hands to keep the meat from sticking while forming.

Start by forming a small handful of the meat into a small oval. Continue doing this until you run out of meat.

Set a griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat. on each side for 2-3 minutes until a nice forms and they are cooked through.

Step 4: Make the yogurt sauce

While the meat is searing, put the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt, pepper and sumac in a small bowl and mix together. Taste and adjust as needed.

Step 5: Finish the meat & serve

Once a nice brown crust has formed on the kofta, pull it off the heat. Let them cool for a minute while you prep the remaining fresh components.

For serving, spread some yogurt sauce over a piece of lavash bread. Next, add the kofta, pickled onions, chopped tomatoes, arugula and more yogurt sauce. Wrap it up and toss it back on the griddle to toast it up a little. Enjoy.



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