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Kofta Kebab

Cooking “stuff on skewers” is a common practice throughout the world, and I can regularly be found chowing down on skewers of lamb or chicken when I visit street markets on my travels. One of my favorite is this recipe for spicy ground lamb kebabs that has its origins in the Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey.

These can be cooked outside on the grill, or, as I did, on a cast iron griddle on the stove. You can even bake them at a high heat in the oven.

Simon Majumdar's Kofta Kebab recipe

Kofta Kebab Recipe

(Makes approximately eight 6-inch skewers)


  • 2 lbs of Ground Lamb (you can substitute ground beef, chicken or turkey, but lamb gives you the original taste)

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin

  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander

  • 2 Cloves Garlic (finely minced)

  • 1 Shallot (finely minced)

  • ½ Cup Chopped Cilantro

  • Skewers (Traditionally, these are cooked on long flat metal skewers, but can be done on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for an hour.)



  1. Combine the ground meat with all the other ingredients in a bowl. You really need to use your hands and work the meat to make sure everything is fully combined.

  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for an hour.

  3. Soak the wooden skewers for at least an hour.

  4. When ready to cook, form a palm sized ball of meat and push the skewer through the meat. 

  5. Flatten the meat, spreading it along the skewer until it covers all but the tips.

  6. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  7. Once you have finished all your skewers, place the skewers back in the refrigerator until ready to cook. This will help them set and stop them falling off the skewers.

  8. When ready to cook, heat your griddle to a high heat and place the skewers gently on the griddle.

  9. Allow to cook on one side for three minutes. Do not move the skewer or the meat will fall off. You need to let the meat cook so it sets on the skewer.

  10. After three minutes, gently flip the skewers and cook on the other side for the same time.

  11. If you are cooking in batches, keep the cooked skewers warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.

  12. Serve the skewers with a simple tomato and cucumber salad, yogurt dip like the raita recipe on this website, and flat bread.

  13. Squeeze over a splash of lemon juice before serving.

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