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Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs

20 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 45


Whether you refer to it as kebab, kabob, or kofta, this dish exudes aromatic and exotic qualities, making it an ideal midweek choice. It brings a delightful change to your routine while remaining remarkably quick and simple to prepare—a perfect fit for busy schedules. Moreover, these Lamb Kofta Kebabs are tailor-made for summer grilling, enhancing their appeal. This recipe draws inspiration from Efendy, a renowned Turkish restaurant located in Balmain, Sydney.

Kofta Kebabs
nomnomwow.com Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs

For a complete serving, pair these kebabs with either store-bought or homemade flatbreads. Additionally, consider complementing them with a side of pilaf or opt for a spiced Middle Eastern Lentil Rice, aligning perfectly with the theme and elevating the overall dining experience.

Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs

I recently tuned in to the latest installment of the Food Safari series, aptly named “Fire,” where diverse global cuisines are showcased, prepared over charcoal fires and wood-fired ovens. Although I lack both a charcoal grill and a wood-fired pizza oven, a particular highlight caught my attention—the Turkish lamb kofta kebabs. It was evident to me that these kofta kebabs could still be exceptionally delightful when cooked on a conventional stovetop or a regular gas barbecue.

While I hold a special fondness for my elaborate Middle Eastern kebabs, which involve a plethora of spices, this uncomplicated recipe captivated me instantly. The prospect of crafting such an effortless dish was particularly appealing. To my pleasant surprise, the entire process, from initiation to completion, genuinely took just 30 minutes.

A simple Turkish Spice Mix


The initial recipe for lamb kofta kebabs employs a mixture of veal, lamb mince (ground meat), and lamb fat. However, finding lamb fat in Sydney seems to be quite a challenge, at least for me!

For the sake of crafting this dish conveniently on a weekday, I introduced a few modifications. The spice blend remains unchanged—a straightforward combination of pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Yet, I compensated for the absence of lamb fat by incorporating onion and garlic, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Admittedly, onion and garlic can’t quite replace the distinct essence of lamb fat, but they undeniably contribute an extra layer of taste.

In the original lamb kofta kebab recipe, pistachio nuts are listed as an ingredient. I opted to include them, mainly because I stumbled upon a batch in my pantry. My enthusiasm was sparked by a recent visit to a Middle Eastern grocery, where the pistachios were surprisingly affordable—I might have gotten a bit carried away!

Without a doubt, the pistachios introduce an additional dimension of flavor and indulgence to the lamb kofta kebabs. Nevertheless, even without them, these kebabs are absolutely worth preparing. Truly.

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Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs

Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs

maimoona
Whether you refer to it as kebab, kabob, or kofta, this dish exudes aromatic and exotic qualities, making it an ideal midweek choice. It brings a delightful change to your routine while remaining remarkably quick and simple to prepare—a perfect fit for busy schedules. Moreover, these Lamb Kofta Kebabs are tailor-made for summer grilling, enhancing their appeal. This recipe draws inspiration from Efendy, a renowned Turkish restaurant located in Balmain, Sydney.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
servings
2
total time
30 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • KEBABS

  • 1 lb / 500g lamb mince (ground lamb) (or substitute with beef)

  • 1 small onion , grated or minced using a food processor - about 1/4 cup (white, brown or yellow) (Note 1)

  • 1 garlic clove , minced

  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts , ground (Optional. I use my food processor) (Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (table salt, not flakes, use 2 1/2 tsp if using kosher or sea salt flakes)

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp cumin powder

  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • YOGHURT SAUCE

  • 3/4 cup plain yoghurt (I use Greek)

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 garlic clove , minced

  • Salt and pepper

  • TO SERVE

  • Pita bread or lebanese flat bread , warmed

  • Lettuce leaves of choice

  • Sliced tomato

  • Sliced red onion

Instructions

1
Prepare the Yoghurt Sauce by mixing its components and then refrigerate the mixture to allow the flavors to meld.
2
In a bowl, combine all the Kebab ingredients except for the oil. Employ your hands to gently combine the elements without overmixing.
3
Shape the mixture into 8 portions and mold them onto skewers.
4
In a generously sized skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the skewers, arranging them in alternating orientations to accommodate all of them. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, turning them to achieve even browning on all sides.
5
Meanwhile, proceed to slice the tomatoes and the red onion.
6
For serving, present the kebabs alongside pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and the Yoghurt Sauce on the side. Accompany the dish with lemon wedges, which make a delightful addition.

Notes

While I opted for a regular box grater, in hindsight, utilizing my food processor that I employed for grinding the nuts would have been a more astute choice. Another alternative is finely chopping the nuts, but I find that grating them imparts superior flavor as the juices intermingle thoroughly. Although the original recipe incorporates pistachio nuts to introduce richness and flavor, even without them, these kebabs remain exceptionally delectable. The original recipe is notably more intricate, calling for a blend of lamb and veal mince alongside lamb fat. In this simplified iteration, solely lamb is utilized. To balance these alterations, I augmented the flavor profile by incorporating onion and garlic. Additionally, while these kebabs are conventionally prepared over charcoal, they can be equally delightful when cooked on a stovetop. Moreover, they prove to be an excellent choice for summer grilling. For those opting to cook these kebabs on a BBQ grill, rather than a hot plate, it's advisable to soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand to prevent burning. The nutritional values provided are per serving, assuming four servings, considering the kebabs and Yoghurt Sauce exclusively (with two kebabs per person, excluding bread). Nutritional Information for Turkish Kebabs
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