Kofta Kebabs are a popular Middle Eastern delicacy: skewers of spiced-up ground lamb or beef, served with fresh vegetables, pita and garlicky yogurt sauce. Here's how to make authentic grilled Turkish Kofta Kebabs at home.
KOFTA KEBABS IN ISTANBUL
When I was in Istanbul kebabs were everywhere: shish kebabs: grilled chunks of meat or chicken on a skewer; doner kebabs: meat cooked on a rotisserie and sliced off for serving; and kofta kebabs: ground lamb or beef shaped onto skewers and grilled.
They were served with tomatoes (raw or grilled), fresh parsley, assorted salad ingredients, seared peppers, rice or pita, and tahini or yogurt sauce - perfect complements to the rich, flavorful meats.
Here's an iPhone photos of one f my kebab dinners in Istanbul. It was as delicious as it looks!
When I returned from Istanbul I couldn't not stop dreaming about delicious kofta kebabs. I finally got around to developing a recipe and here it is!
HOW TO MAKE KOFTA KEBABS
Kofta is a mix of ground meat, herbs and spices that's formed into a meatball or meatloaf. Kofta kebabs are formed around a skewer. These Turkish kofta kebabs can be made with either ground lamb or beef. I've done it both ways with great success.
The meat is mixed with finely chopped onion, parsley and spices. Next comes the fun part, shaping the kofta around the skewers.
HOW TO SKEWER KOFTA
In Turkey I was intrigued by the unusual shape of the kofta kebabs - long and flat with ridges. I wondered how it was done. Now I know! It's not required that you do this, by the way. You can simply form a long sausage shape and flatten it a bit, and your kebabs will be just as delicious. But if you're up for trying the fancy technique, here's how to do it:
- Keep a bowl of ice water handy to dip your hand in, if the meat starts to stick to you.
- Slide a portion of meat onto the skewer and stand the skewer upright - pointy side down - holding the top with one hand.
- Use the other hand form the meat into a long, ridged, sausage shape by gently squeezing it from top to bottom, and pressing the side of your thumb in as you go, to make the ridges.
- Flip the skewer over and repeat the process, squeezing and ridging the other side. Keep flipping and repeating until you have a long, flat, ridged kebab.
- If you want more instruction, check out this YouTube video.
BEST SKEWERS FOR KOFTA KEBABS
HOW TO SERVE KOFTA KEBABS
I like to serve these kofta buffet-style, with the kebabs and warm pita on one platter, the fresh vegetables on another platter, and the garlicky yogurt sauce in a bowl on the side.
This is a fantastic dish for entertaining. Set it all up and let people help themselves. It's always a big crowd pleaser with my friends and family.
If you like Turkish cuisine, here are a few other delicious Panning The Globe recipes to try:
For more great grilling recipes, check out this roundup of The 16 Best Foods To Grill This Weekend
If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment and a rating. I'd love to know what you think!Print