Kofta Kebabs - Middle East Grilled Ground Meat

Kofta Kebabs
Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki and Salad. Philip Wilkins/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The richly-spiced flavors aren't the burn-your-mouth kind, but are a delicious change from the usual. I don't bother to make them "kebabs," but you can put them on skewers if you want. They can be made with any kind of ground meat, including the traditional lamb.  Serve with Tzatziki with Mint.


  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 Tablespoon gournd coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne or other hot pepper (or a little Harissa paste)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons finely minced onion or 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt (about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons works well)


It's easiest to mix all the ingredients together, which is what I used to do. But I have found that the flavors come out and blend together better if I warm the spices in about a tablespoon of olive oil, just until it sizzles.

Traditionally, these are molded into sort of long meatballs (about 3 to 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and put on skewers to grill. I just skip the skewers.

Nutritional Information: Each of 4 servings has 2 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber, 29 grams protein, and 303 calories.

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