These lamb koftas are the perfect answer to a homemade kebab without all the excessive trans fats and additives. Seasoned with warming spices and chilli, they’re perfect for all the family.
What is Lamb Koftas
Lamb Koftas are made from ground meat such as lamb or beef. They’re typically rolled into balls or cylindrical shaped and threaded onto skewers. They can be made with any type of meat, but lamb is commonly associated with these delicious mini kebabs.
Lamb koftas are perfectly served with pitta bread or other flatbreads, salad, and chilli sauce. However, this recipe has opted for mint yoghurt.
But where are they from? While they’re similar to a donner kebab but on a smaller scale, they’re associated with countries like Turkey. However, lamb koftas and its many variations can be found in Greece and the Middle East. That makes it very difficult to pinpoint an exact birthplace for kofta. This recipe assumes Turkish origin with the use of Turkish-inspired kebab seasoning.
Ingredients in Lamb Koftas
Lamb – Ground Lamb is traditionally associated with Lamb Koftas and is the earliest recorded meat used in old Arabic cookbooks.
Bulgur Wheat – Bulgur Wheat helps bind the meat together similarly to breadcrumbs in meatballs. However, bulgur must be cooked and cooled before adding to the raw meat mix. So, to save time, replace the bulgur with breadcrumbs.
Kebab Seasoning & Mint – My homemade kebab seasoning was first developed for this recipe. The inclusion of mint here justifies its exclusion from the original kebab seasoning recipe.
Onion & Garlic – The recipe calls for finely diced onion and minced garlic. Ideally, the onion should also be minced so the kofta mix can turn into a paste. A food processor may help achieve these results, but try using a box grater for a more consistent result.
To Skewer or Not?
I like to skewer my kofta mix to cook them quickly under the grill or over a hot BBQ. However, you can turn them into meatballs, pan-fry them, bake them, or place them under a grill or over a hot BBQ and use tongs to turn them over.
Lamb Koftas with Mint Yoghurt
- 500 g Lamb Mince
- 50 g Bulgur Wheat or Breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 White Onion Finely Diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 3 Red Chilli’s Deseeded & Diced
- 2 Tbsp Kebab Seasoning
- 15 g Fresh Mint Leaves Finely Chopped
- Salt to taste
For the Yoghurt Sauce
- 500 ml Yoghurt
- 3 Tsp Mint Yoghurt
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Salt to taste
- Mix all the ingredients together to make the yoghurt sauce, and season to taste. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before use.
- Cook the bulgur wheat with 100ml of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes until it’s soft and has absorbed all the water. Allow to cool completely.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat and gently soften the onions with a pinch of salt for 8-10 minutes until almost translucent. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool completely.
- Preheat an overhead grill or barbecue to medium-high heat.
- Mix the lamb mince with the bulgur, cooled onion mixture, mint, and kebab seasoning in a large bowl. Season with salt.
- Divide into 8 balls, then thread onto skewers. Mould the koftas into an even thickness along the skewers using your hands.
- Grill the skewers for 8-10 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Allow the skewers to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with mint yoghurt, flatbread, and a large salad.