Kufta, grilled meat on skewers

Kufta, grilled meat on skewers


It has many names, Kufteh, Cufta, Kifta…..depending on country of origin Lebanon, Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, or Iran.  It all stems from the Persian word “to grind” or “meatball”.   Kufta is a mixture of meat, parsley, onions, bulgar wheat, spices and egg. They are usually formed into cigar shaped cylinders, then grilled, baked, fried, steamed, or poached.  They can also be served with a spicy sauce.  One thing is without question, this is a delicious ancient food, with endless ethnic variations.  The following recipe is one I have used for years. It is made with lamb and beef and then grilled. I also use a special an ancient middle eastern spice called BARAHAT, a mixture of allspice, cardomon, cassia bark, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and paprika. See if you can find it, because it adds a special exotic flavor to the kufta.


¾ lb ground lamb

¾ lb ground beef

¾ cup finely chopped or grated onion

1 toe finely minced fresh garlic

¾ cup chopped parsley

3 TBS chopped fresh mint leaves

1 egg (beaten)


1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Optional: flat wooden skewers (soaked)

Optional:  Labna or Laban (Lebanese  yogurt)


  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients
  2. Form into 10 equal balls, then into cylinders
  3. If using skewers, run skewer through cylinders
  4. Grill until med rare, residual heat will continue to cook
  5. Don’t over cook. 
  6. Serve with dollop of labna, garnish with chopped parsley or chives


Kufta, cooked on Grilling Stones
Kufta, cooked on Grilling Stones

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group  Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.cookingwithcordier.com 

Photo and recipe by Doug Cordier.  All rights reserved, Cooking with Cordier 2010

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