Köfte with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

30 Mar

Sorry, don’t have any photos of these, but so delicious and easy we make them all the time. Great as part of a dinner with couscous and steamed veggies or as an hors d’oeuvre. This recipe is modified somewhat from an Epicurious recipe. I generally use whole wheat bread (that’s what we have in the house) instead of the white bread in the original recipe, and I prefer using ground mutton over lamb for a richer flavor. I’ve also used cilantro instead of parsley to change things up a bit.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


For sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic

For köfte:
2 slices firm bread, torn into pieces
1 lb ground lamb or mutton
1 small red onion, minced or grated
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon baharat* spice mix
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt

Make sauce:

Stir yogurt with garlic and salt to taste.

Make köfte:

Cover bread with water in a bowl and soak 30 minutes, then squeeze bread to remove as much moisture as possible.
Prepare grill while bread soaks.

Transfer squeezed bread to a large bowl and add remaining köfte ingredients, then mix well with your hands until thoroughly blended. Divide lamb/mutton mixture into 16 portions and form each into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4- to 5- inch “cigar,” rolling first between your hands and then on a work surface (be sure the köfte are thin enough for even cooking).

Place on an oiled baking sheet and broil under high heat until gold and just cooked through, turning over once, 4 to 6 minutes. Wrap in lettuce leaves and serve warm with yogurt sauce.

To cook over the grill, roll each ball into a 7- to 8-inch cigar, and slide a 10-inch wooden skewer lengthwise through the center of each köfte. Grill on oiled grill rack, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.

*Baharat Spice Mix (my recipe):

6 Tbs paprika
4 Tbs ground black pepper
4 Tbs ground cumin seeds
3 Tbs ground coriander seeds
3 Tbs ground cinnamon
3 Tbs ground cloves
4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom pods

Blend together and store in an airtight container.

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