Lamb Kofta and Harissa Yogurt Sauce

There’s a Lebanese restaurant in Cleveland, Taza, that J and I LOVE. We eat there nearly every time we’re in town. Until now, the recipe for their delicious lamb kofta has eluded us. This weekend when everyone else was grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, J finally managed to perfect this recipe with the help of Arabic Food Recipes kitchen.

Kofta Ingredients (plus our modifications):
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (fresh makes a HUGE difference!)
2 tablespoons grated fresh onion (we used white and about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons 2% Greek-style plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric (we used slightly more)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (we used slightly more)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean ground lamb
Cooking spray

Kofta Directions:
Combine cilantro and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. We used a spatula to combine it all. Shape into 12 oblong patties around pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Don’t try to make them too big, the weight will cause them to fall off the skewer. Spray a grill tray with cooking spray and set the skewers on the grill tray. Grill for about 10 minutes per side (you’ll know it’s time to turn when the edges are a bit crisp). Tip to flip: don’t lift the kofta, roll it over using tongs or two forks.

Harissa Yogurt Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup 2% Greek-style plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (we’ll use more next time)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Harissa Yogurt Sauce Directions:
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit for about half an hour in the refrigerator. Mix again. Serve sauce with kofta.

My opinion:
I couldn’t stop eating this dish. When it was gone, I wanted more. The only change I’d make in the future is to add more spice to the Harissa Yogurt sauce. I can’t wait until we make this again.

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