Valley Fig Growers

Grilled Lamb Kofte with California Figs

Serve with rice pilaf or make sandwiches with warm pita bread, sliced red onion, and chopped fresh mint.

Serves 4 to 6


Yogurt-Garlic Sauce

 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

 tablespoons lemon juice

 tablespoons tahini

garlic clove, minced

 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup pine nuts

garlic cloves, peeled

1 1/2 
teaspoons hot smoked paprika

teaspoon salt

 teaspoon ground cumin

teaspoon pepper

 teaspoon ground coriander

 teaspoon ground cloves

teaspoon ground nutmeg

teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 
pounds ground lamb

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and chopped fine

 cup grated onion, drained

 cup minced fresh parsley

cup minced fresh mint

1 1/2
 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

 large disposable aluminum roasting pan (if using charcoal)


  1. FOR THE YOGURT-GARLIC SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Set aside.
  2. FOR THE KOFTE: Process pine nuts, garlic, paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon in food processor until coarse paste forms, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add lamb, figs, onion, parsley, mint, and gelatin; knead with your hands until thoroughly combined and mixture feels slightly sticky, about 2 minutes. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into 5-inch-long cylinder about 1 inch in diameter. Using 8 (12-inch) metal skewers, thread 1 cylinder onto each skewer, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer skewers to lightly greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Using skewer, poke 12 holes in bottom of disposable pan. Open bottom vent completely and place pan in center of grill. Light large chimney starter filled two thirds with charcoal briquettes (4 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into pan. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  4. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
  5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place skewers on grill (directly over coals if using charcoal) at 45-degree angle to grate. Cook (covered if using gas) until browned and meat easily releases from grill, 4 to 7 minutes. Check at halftime of cooking making sure meat is not getting too brown. Flip skewers and continue to cook until browned on second side and meat registers 160 degrees, about 6 minutes longer. Transfer skewers to platter and serve, passing yogurt-garlic sauce separately.

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Nutrition Information

amount per serving

  • Calories 418
  • % Calories from Fat 45%
  • Fat 21
  • Cholesterol 85
  • Protein 29
  • Carbohydrates 29
  • Fiber 6
  • Iron 4
  • Sodium 679
  • Calcium147
  • Potassium 695