Lamb Kofta with Lemon Cream

We just got back from a trip to Dubai. While we ate mostly Indian food (we were staying with Adarsh’s family), we made sure to enjoy as much Middle Eastern food as we could stuff in between the incredible feasts Adarsh’s mom put on for us.

We’d go nuts over the “mixed grill” platters – with skewered lamb filet, tender chicken cubes, lime-y prawns and these minced lamb kofta that were my absolute favourite. Every restaurant had its own version, so I took my favourite elements from each of them to create one I love – lots of fresh herbs, warm spices, a bit of heat, a bit sweetness and texture from the currants and almonds.

I served mine with a lemon cream, which was delicious – but hummus is the typical accompaniment (I just got kinda tired of it).

Serve the kofta on a platter with warmed pita bread on the side as well as an assortment of vegetables (radishes, cucumber, charred tomatoes and leafy greens are the usual suspects) and pickles.

PS. fellow food bloggers must be able to sympathize – you know when you’ve made something really incredible, but everyone is totally starving, the sun has set, and you only have time for one quick iPhone snapshot by artificial light before the hungry toddler loses it, then once the food is eaten you realize it wasn’t even in focus? I think I should start a series called “just dinner”: it’ll have just one photo. And it might be blurry. That’d really take the pressure off. 🙂

Lamb Kofta with Lemon Cream

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Middle Eastern


  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp currants or chopped raisins
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pita bread to serve

For lemon cream:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 tsp coarse salt

Suggested accompaniments, optional:

  • fresh mint leaves
  • chopped tomatoes
  • fresh parsley leaves
  • lemon wedges
  • sliced radishes
  • pickled peppers or other vegetables


  • Stir all kofta ingredients except olive oil together in a large bowl, gently pressing with your hands until well combined. Wet your hands and form mixture into 2" oblong meatballs.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add kofta and cook without moving, until well-browned - they'll release easily when ready to flip. Brown on all sides, then reduce heat to medium-low until no longer pink inside.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients for the lemon cream. Serve kofta with pita bread, lemon cream, and desired accompaniments.

Last Updated on January 8, 2015 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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