Moroccan Beef Koftas

Moroccan beef koftas recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 34 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 14 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
285 Calories
14g Fat
3g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 1101mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 34g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making kofta is an ancient way of grilling ground meat. Aromatic and savory spices are added to the meat and it is shaped around a skewer for grilling. It is a lot like a sausage, but without the casing.

The secret to successful koftas is to make sure the meat is sticky enough to hold together on the skewers. To cook these, you will simply need a hot grill, which could be an open hibachi or a charcoal or gas grill. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about an hour before grilling. This will keep the exposed ends from burning when you grill the kofta kebabs.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds/700 grams ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil for grilling
  • For Serving: pita, yogurt, red onion, lemon or lime wedges, additional cilantro/parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.

    Ingredients for beef koftas
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

    Beef in a bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Shape the meat into long, thick sausages. Make them all evenly sized, and keep in mind the length of the skewer. Thread a skewer through each kofta.

    Skewer
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Brush a small amount of oil on the skewered koftas to prevent sticking to the grill.

    Skewer
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Place the koftas on the hot grill and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally after five to six minutes once the meat has firmed up.

    Put skewers on grill
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Once the internal temperature of koftas reaches 165 F, remove from grill and serve.

    Moroccan beef koftas
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • You can serve the kofta on the skewers or take them off the skewers and arrange sections of the kofta on a plate.
  • Serve the beef koftas alongside four to five warmed pitas, 1 cup of plain yogurt, red onion sliced into rings, and two limes quartered. You and your guests can make pita sandwiches with these elements for an informal meal.
  • Other side dishes you may see include chickpea salad, tabbouleh, spiced carrots, or couscous. Vegetable side dishes are often cooked rather than fresh, such as zaalouk, which is eggplant and tomatoes with spices.

Recipe Variation

  • The spice blend used here relies on those you are likely to have on your spice rack. Moroccan cooks often use a pinch of this and a pinch of that rather than measuring. If you lack one of the spices, don't stress too much. Wing it with the rest of them, or toss in a bit of ground ginger or allspice. As well, there is nothing wrong with omitting a spice you don't particularly like. Cilantro is used, which some people love and others don't -- you can substitute parsley instead.

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