Kofta Kebabs Recipe

My first attempt. Kebabs with lightly sauteed kale with garlic
My first attempt. Kebabs with lightly sauteed kale with garlic

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this on the blog yet. It wasn’t until I was looking through my drafts that I realized this baby hadn’t made it’s way out of my draft queue.

In August, there was a potluck at work, I saw a minced meat patty shaped in a log (a kebab or kabab) and had to try it. Prior to this, I’d been lucky enough to try one because my co-worker friend brought one made by her mom during the reintroduction phase of my Elimination Diet. Yes, it’s been years, but you don’t forget a good meat patty.

This potluck kebab smelled amazing. The spices in this kebab hit me before I even put it in my mouth. It was SOO GOOD, I wanted to make this as soon as I could.  Since it was Tuesday, I decided to save the coming Saturday to try out. Talk about thinking ahead.

I found a recipe on allrecipes that had a lot of spices, the only thing missing was heat and I wanted some lemon juice in there. I could just add chili’s. I was torn between this recipe and another one that had lemon juice but I picked this one because it had more spices.

If you get intimidated by a long list of ingredients, trust me, this is so worth it! DON’T be intimidated at all. If you don’t own all these spices, try to get a bit from a bulk food store so you aren’t stuck with a lot of spice that you might not like or use up. I wish someone told me that when I first started cooking. I just bought bags and bags of spices based on whatever the recipe called for.

Non-Spicy version. I pureed the onion/garlic/fresh parsley and it was tasty but had a very JUICEY result.
Non-Spicy version. I pureed the onion/garlic and it was tasty but had a very JUICEY result.

Kofta Kebab Recipe

Adapted from Kofta Kebabs on Allrecipes


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 red chili, diced fine
  • Juice from 1/8 of a lemon*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp onion, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • approximately 3-4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)


  • Used sea salt instead of kosher salt
  • Added lemon juice
  • Omitted the allspice from the original recipe because I didn’t have any
  • Used beef because I prefer it to lamb
  • Substituted fresh ginger for ground ginger (substitute: 1 tsp fresh ginger for the ¼ tsp of ground ginger)
  • Omitted bamboo skewers because I wanted to pan fry not grill
  • Added: an egg to bind – I do this out of habit when making any kind of meat patty or dumpling or spring rolls
  • Decreased cinnamon based on comments of others thinking cinnamon was too much
  • Pan-fried garlic, ginger, onions before adding to mixture
  • Added: 1 red chili for heat. If you don’t want heat, omit it

I didn’t think I made that many changes, but it sure as heck looks like it. There was nothing wrong with the original recipe, I just wanted to tweak it based on what I thought would taste good.


  1. Pan fried the onion in olive oil until soft and translucent
  2. Pan fried the ginger and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes (being careful not to burn)
  3. In a big mixing bowl, add onions, ginger, garlic, fresh parsley and all the spices. Mix well
  4. Then add an egg, and the ground beef. Mix it well by hand. Optional: If you are pan frying and want the flavours to have more time to marinade, you can stick it in the fridge for about 30 minutes then pull it out and form meatballs. Or you can form meat balls and stick it in the fridge so that all you need to do is just pull it out and fry in the pan.
  5. Form meatballs or meat patties. I just shaped the meat patty like you would a meatball only I pushed it a bit so it was flat like a thick hamburger patty.
  6. Heat the frying pan with a couple tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in enough meat patties that will fit into the pan without touching. Optional: Bake in the oven (another recipe reviewer baked for 350 degrees for 25 minutes, but times/heat will vary depending on how thick your patty or meatball is)
  7. Pan fry for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Check for doneness by taking one and cutting into it, so that the juices run clear. Serve while hot.

Recipe Notes

*Lemon Juice: I used juice from 1/8 of a lemon. Cut a lemon into 2 halves. Cut 1 half into 4 pieces. One of those pieces is 1/8. As always, adjust the amount based on your preference.

Spicy/Non-Spicy: I made these spicy by using one red chili. If you don’t like or can’t handle spicy food, just omit the chili and maybe the cayenne pepper and you should be fine. I’ve made it without the red chili before and it tasted fine.

Baking: I have made these a few times now. One time I pan fried for a bit on both sides then finished them in the oven (the last few pictures) but I forgot to write down how long and at what temperature. One of the allrecipe reviewers baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and served with pita and yogurt. Yum! So many ways you can eat these.


These were soo tasty!  The combination of all the spices makes this meatball truly unique. It can be a great appetizer, great to have with some vegetables or salad, eat with lettuce or kale like a bunless burger, replace this with your regular burger/wrap meat and easy enough to double the batch and have it for lunch & dinner. I made mine into a small meat patty shape, but you could always make into a long stick or meatballs or tiny meat balls. Possibilities are endless!

All the mix-in's.
All the mix-in’s.
Mixing the spices
Mixing the spices

Process shots

Pan frying
Pan frying
Out of the oven

Have you had Kofta Kebabs before? What kind of kebabs, meatballs or meat patties do you like making? Are you also constantly tweaking recipes? HAHA I can’t be the only one. Do you have a favourite minced meat recipe to share? I’d love to hear from you. 

– Julie

3 thoughts on “Kofta Kebabs Recipe

    1. Hi Fabutan! Thanks for the kind words. That would be a great idea someday and thanks for offering to bring your camera. I think I need to create more original recipes before I do that.

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