Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki and Cilantro Hummus

We love Middle Eastern food and this spicy and aromatic lamb kofta recipe is right up there among our favorites. Lamb kofta is often made with sweeter spices like cinnamon, allspice, sumac, and cloves in addition to cumin, but this version has more savory flavor profiles including Spanish paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin, and fresh cilantro with just a hint of allspice. So, it’s got plenty of herbs and spices! These skewered meatballs smell outrageously delicious as they are cooking. Such fun party fare! We serve it with tzatziki and cilantro-jalapeno hummus with warmed pita on the side or as a wrap for the lamb. If you love lamb, you’re gonna love these!

Lamb Kofta served with fresh pita, tzatziki, and cilantro-jalapeno hummus.

Often, kofta is made with a combination of lamb and beef, but we really love lamb, so we stick to that. Also, you may be wondering if there is a difference between Spanish and Hungarian paprika, and there really is. Spanish paprika is made from sweet red peppers that are indigenous to Spain. These peppers are then smoked and dried over an oak burning fire for several weeks and then ground into a powder. This process produces a sweet, smoky flavor, which is popular in Spanish, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern dishes.

Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki and Cilantro Hummus

Ingredients

Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki and Cilantro Hummus

  • 7-8 wooden skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 yellow onion grated on a cheese grater (use the juices too)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro minced or snipped with herb scissors
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced or snipped with herb scissors
  • 1 clove garlic. minced
  • 1 slice bread with the crust removed soaked, wrung dry by hand, and crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika smoked paprika
  • Dash allspice

Garnishes: lemon wedges, cilantro leaves

    Condiments:

    • Tzatziki Recipe Below
    • Jalapeno-Lime Hummus

    Dill Cucumber Tzatziki

    • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 1 small garlic clove minced
    • 1/2 cup cubed cucumber with most of the skins peeled
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed minced

    Instructions

    Kofta

    • Mix ground lamb, grated onion, fresh cilantro, parsley, minced garlic, and all of the spices and herbs in a bowl. Mix well. Crumble in the crumbs from the soaked slice of bread and blend mixture very well.
    • Divide mixture into about 7 or 8 evenly-sized balls. Using your hands, place the meatballs onto the end of the skewer and shape them into long ovals working your way down along the skewer, until they are about 3-4 inches long and approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
    • Place the skewers in a covered container and put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours or longer, to allow the flavors to meld. You can even do this overnight.
    • When ready to cook and serve, preheat a cast iron pan on the barbecue over high heat for about 10 minutes.
    • Begin cooking the lamb kofta in a cast iron skillet to obtain a nice, crispy edge. Then transfer to the grill to finish cooking to the desired doneness.
    • Begin cooking the lamb kofta in a cast iron skillet to obtain a nice, crispy edge. Then transfer to the grill to finish cooking to the desired doneness.
    • Add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the lamb koftas for 30 seconds per side. This process gets the outside edges of the kofta nice and crispy.
    • Remove the skewers from the pan and place them directly on the grill for about 1 minute per side, rotating to all four sides.
    • Serve piping hot with lemon wedges, cilantro leaves, dill tzatziki, jalapeno-cilantro hummus, and warm fresh pita bread.

    Dill Cucumber Tzatziki

    • Blend together.
    Author: Suz
    Begin cooking the lamb kofta in a cast iron skillet to obtain a nice, crispy edge. Then transfer to the grill to finish cooking to the desired doneness.
    Remove lamb kofta skewers from the cast iron skillet and place directly onto the grill, cooking for 1 minute per side, and rotating four times.

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