Lamb kofte is a traditional Middle Eastern dish comprised of lamb, spices, and pine nuts. See how easy the lamb kofte recipe is to make and add it to your what-to-grill or make for your next cookout.
Figs, a Familiar Flavor in Middle Eastern Cooking
Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice premium California Dried Figs add so much to the kofte. By adding figs, they add a fruity sweetness to the kofte. Mission Figs bring a familiar fig flavor, whereas Golden Figs contribute more of a tangy, slightly sweet and nutty taste.
Cooking Tips for the Lamb Kofte
First off, plan ahead. The kofte need 1 hour and up to 24 hours to chill. This allows the mixture’s texture to gel—and the flavors too.
The food processor is your friend with this recipe as the first step is to process the pine nuts with the spices to a coarse paste.
Then, you’ll knead the lamb, figs, onion, parsley, mint, and gelatin with the spiced pine nut paste until the mixture feels slightly sticky.
Divide into 8 equal portions.
Shape each portion into 5-inch-long cylinder about 1 inch in diameter, threading each onto a metal skewer. A trick here is to press them gently to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
The dipping sauce for the lamb kofte couldn’t be any easier than just whisking it together and setting it aside.
Get Ready to Grill
The lamb kofte recipe can be cooked over a charcoal grill or a gas grill.
How to Serve Lamb Kofte
Serve with rice pilaf or make sandwiches with warm pita bread, sliced red onion, and chopped fresh mint. We like to also chop up tomatoes and briny olives—castelvetrano or kalamata. Not all pita bread is created the same, so a few more options include lavash, flatbread, naan, or even flour tortillas, heated up and tucked into a clean linen-lined basket to keep them warm.
If you try the lamb kofte recipe, let us know what you think!
Grilled Lamb Kofte with California Figs
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped fine
- 1/2 cup grated onion drained
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup minced fresh mint
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 large disposable aluminum roasting pan if using charcoal
- FOR THE YOGURT-GARLIC SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Set aside.
- 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-incmetal 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.
- 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.
- FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
- Clean and oil cooking grate. Place skewers on grill (directly over coals if using charcoaat 45-degree angle to grate. Cook (covered if using gauntil 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.