This ground lamb kofta recipe blends ground lamb with minced mushrooms, fresh herbs, flavorful spices. It’s an easy main dish that your family won’t even realize contains a serving of veggies.
WHAT IS A LAMB KOFTA?
A kofta is a kind of meatball or meatloaf dish that is typically found in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Central Asian cuisine. Here in America, kofta is most commonly thought of as a Middle Eastern or Greek dish.
The ingredients, and how the kofta recipe is cooked, varies depending on the region. In Morrocco, they are cooked in a tagine. Israeli cuisine has a fish version that is cooked in a tomato stew. In India, vegetarian koftas are quite popular.
So a lamb kofta is simply a dish made of ground lamb mixed with other finely chopped ingredients to form a smooth paste. This ground lamb kofta recipe is pan fried and then served on skewers for a fun kebab you can eat with your fingers.
By using a fatty meat like lamb, your are able to pan fry these koftas without needing any additional oil or fat. If you don’t eat lamb, any ground meat will do. Some people prefer to use ground beef instead of lamb, but we love the authentic flavor the lamb provides.
BLENDING FRESH MUSHROOMS INTO GROUND LAMB
Lamb can be an expensive meat to purchase, but its flavor is unlike any other. Fresh mushrooms are a great way to add bulk to ground meat dishes. They have a meaty texture that can blend easily into the ground lamb to stretch your meat without anyone noticing.
I’ve been blending mushrooms into meat for years, so it was a no brainer for me to take the Blenditarian Pledge. I’m a Blenditarian because I love how easy it is to add vegetables to my family’s food!
The Blenditarian Pledge is simply choosing to integrate more mushrooms into your favorite ground meat dishes, like this ground lamb kofta recipe, for better flavor, better health, and better sustainability.
Mushrooms are fat-free, cholesterol free, low in calories, and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. They are also great for the environment. Mushrooms require very little growing space or water, and are ready to harvest in just a matter of days so they are one of the most earth-friendly and renewable crops available.
Learn more about being a Blenditarian, and then join me to make the pledge to be a Blenditarian and share what drives you to do better! You can also enter the monthly Blenditarian Challenge, where you could win $250!
HOW DO YOU MAKE LAMB KOFTA?
- Start by finely chopping your mushrooms in a food processor then transfer them to a bowl.
- Sprinkle the ground mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and let sit 15 minutes.
- Place a small yellow onion, three garlic cloves, fresh parsley, oregano, and mint into the food processor and mince finely. These are you aromatic ingredients.
- Wrap your mushrooms in a paper towel to wring out all the liquid.
- Place drained mushrooms, the minced onion, garlic and herbs, and 2 pounds ground lamb into a large mixing bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of kosher salt and cumin, half a teaspoon of coriander and smoked paprika, and a quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Use your hands to mix everything together into a smooth paste.
- Form the lamb mixture into balls or “fingers” of meat, and place a few in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. No need to add olive oil, they will cook in the fat from the lamb
- Fry the lamb kofta about two minutes on each side, until browned all over.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK LAMB KOFTA?
How long you cook the lamb kofta depends on your cooking method and the shape of your kofta.
These finger shaped koftas take about 8 minutes to cook in the frying pan.
You can also cook all of the kofta at once in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and line the kofta up on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Whatever method you use to cook your ground lamb kofta, use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
HOW TO SERVE LAMB KOFTA
We like to eat our lamb kofta on skewers, but they don’t actually cook very well on the skewers, so I insert them after pulling the kofta off the heat.
I dish up a platter of the lamb kofta and drizzle it with homemade tzatziki sauce (made from Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, garlic, and dill). Top them with a sprinkling of chopped mint, since mint goes so well with lamb and it looks absolutely beautiful.
You could also sprinkle with chili flakes if you’d like a little heat for your lamb kofta.
I typically serve these with an Israeli salad of chopped cucumber, tomato, and red onion tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
They are also wonderful with feta cheese zucchini fritters, and bruschetta, or stuffed into Greek salad pita pockets.
MORE LAMB RECIPES:
Looking for more ideas for cooking lamb? Here’s some favorites we’ve curated from Eating Richly and our blogging friends.
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- 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, loosely packed
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tzatziki Sauce, to serve
- chopped mint, to serve
- Place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let sit 10-15 minutes.
- Place a onion, garlic, parsley, mint, and oregano into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Wrap the salted chopped mushrooms in a paper towel and wring out all the liquid.
- Place drained mushrooms, the minced onion, garlic and herbs, and ground lamb into a large mixing bowl.
- Add salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper, then mix well with clean hands until you have a smooth paste.
- Form the lamb mixture into "fingers" about 2 1/2 inches long and an inch in diameter.
- Spread your koftas out in a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Fry in batches for about two minutes on each side (four sides).
- The koftas are done when the internal temperature measures 160 degrees F. Remove from the pan and spear a skewer through each one.
- Place on a platter and drizzle with tzatziki sauce then top with fresh chopped mint.
Serving Size:20 koftas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 7g
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.