15 April 2011

I was Crushed by Lamb Kofta Appetizer with Tzatziki Sauce

Lamb Kofta Appetizer with Tzatziki Sauce

As writers and budding cooks we get our inspiration from many different sources. This recipe idea came from an on-line magazine from South Africa....Crush! Kofta is a minced meat kabob, typically molded into the shape of a sausage and wrapped around a skewer. The texture of the kofta comes from grinding the meat into a paste-like consistency and mixing it with herbs and spices of your choice.

Kofta is nothing new here on these pages but what I loved about this particular dish was the idea of serving these as an appetizer with olive-shaped little meatballs. With Easter coming up it seems only fitting that I share a few of my favourite lamb recipes. I like to use lamb for my koftas and serve these tasty morsels canapé fashion with fresh local crudités, tzatziki for dipping and a cool glass of rosé!

This dish is rich, satisfying, and incredibly flavourful. Keep in mind that the kofta also freeze well, so feel free to make a big batch! The tzatziki recipe is based on a method from my good friend Peter at Kalofagas. He recommends adding his secret ingredient...a dash of ouzo to create complex flavour. Perhaps I could use some fennel fronds to get that anise flavour since ouzo is non-existent around here but fennel is at the moment! I have no doubt it's delicious!!!

**Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki Sauce**

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
 1 lb (450 g) ground lamb
2 tablespoons (30 ml) each chopped fresh mint and parsley
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) each ground nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
1 egg
toasted pita breads for serving
herbed tzatziki for serving (see recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

2. Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for 5–7 minutes until soft and translucent.

3. In a large bowl, combine the lamb mince with all the herbs, spices and seasoning, and then add the cooked onion and garlic. Add the egg and mix well. At this point you can cover the bowl and refrigerate or form the koftas (oval-shaped meatballs) immediately. Place the koftas on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and brown the koftas for 2 minutes per side.

Remove from the pan and drain on paper towelling. Skewer each olive-shaped meatball onto bamboo skewers and then place them on the baking tray. Place the baking tray in the oven for 5-10–15 minutes until the koftas are cooked through depending on the size.

Serve with toasted pita breads and Herbed Tzatziki (see recipe below).

**Herbed Tzatziki**

1/2 English cucumber
1 cup (250 mL) Greek-style plain yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped fresh dill, parsley and mint, mixed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
Good quality extra virgin olive oil

(If you cannot find thick Greek yogurt strain your yogurt in a cheesecloth bag or fine mesh seive overnight in the refrigerator. Make sure to have a bowl underneath to catch the excess liquid. This will create a thick yogurt perfect for this sauce).

With a box grater grate the cucumber directly into a mesh strainer or, a couple layers of cheese cloth. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Set the strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid or hang your cheesecloth bag over the drain of the sink. Allow it to drain for a half hour. With your hands squeeze the remaining moisture out of the cucumber. Discard the liquid.

In a large bowl, mix together the strained or Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, cucumber, lemon juice and a generous pinch of sea salt. Taste the Tzatziki and season with additional salt if needed.

Just before serving, drizzle the Tzatziki with a bit of olive oil.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I love the idea of presenting something familiar in a different way -- and kofta appetizers are a great party idea.

  2. Irresistibly scrumptious! The kind of food I could eat on y weekly basis.



  3. Now if only I could get my parents to like lamb...this would surely make it onto our Easter table! Looks fantastic!

  4. Val, the Ouzo (splash) gives the Tzatziki a "somethin-somethin" that I just love. Pick some Ouzo up when you're here in On-tar-e-ari-ario!

    Thanks for the kind mention.

  5. Koftas look wonderful! Im drooling... We have veg and non-veg kofta curries in Indian cooking as well.. But I love this non-curried version... Would be a great addition to my Easter menu.. bookmarking it!

  6. Wow, does that look good, this is a favourite of mine :D
    Have a fantastic weekend daaaaahling.
    *kisses* HH

  7. this will now be at my house on Easter!

  8. Hi Val,
    This looks fabulous and I can't wait to make it but I do have one question
    ...the ingredient list says
    1kg (1 lb) lamb ~ 1kg is actually 2.2 lbs, so I'm not sure which amounts is accurate for the recipe.
    Please advise...thanks.
    Barbara in Toronto

  9. I have ground lamb in the freezer and love kofta. I think I'll buy some yogurt today and make this.

  10. Val, the kofta look wonderful and I love your take on the sauce. You might want to try powdered fennel seeds to approximate the flavor of ouzo. Go slowly, as the seeds are really strong. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. What a wonderful appetizer idea, although this could be a meal for me. Perfect for Easter!

  12. I love Lamb Kofta and yours look really good!

  13. Love this recipe, Val! Smaller bites are easier to eat and much more fun. I'm adding it to my Easter repertoire.

  14. What perfect little lamb bites!

  15. What a lovely app. You have served two of my favorite things. Funny I was thinking of making lamb today for dinner.

  16. Awesome idea! My husband would totally love this. Thanks for sharing :)!

  17. This is definitely one of my favorites! YUM!

  18. I have never met a kofta or kafta I did not like! Delicious version!


Welcome to my home. Thank you for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your support, comments, suggestions,and daily encouragement.


This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.