Lamb Kofta With Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

I have always loved lamb kofta but, surprisingly, I have not made it very often until recently.  A trip to Iceland put lamb back on my radar–one of my sons, who does not eat fish, ate lamb almost every night while we were there. When we returned, I started looking for ways to add more lamb to our meal repertoire.

Kofta, also called “Kufteh” or “koofteh” is a Middle Eastern and South Asian comfort food often resembling a meatball or dumpling, although they can be made in various forms. The name “kofta” is derived from the Persian word “kuftan” which means “to beat” “to grind” or “meatball”.  Kofta is a patty of well-seasoned, ground lamb–mixed with lots of garlic, parsley, mint, cumin, and a touch of cinnamon.  I love to make mine on skewers and serve it with a salty cucumber-yogurt sauce on the side.  Although traditional kofta is typically made with ground lamb or beef, there is a wonderful vegan version you can make if that’s appealing.


In India, sometimes you will see kofta made with fish, but that is not as common. The versatility of this flavorful dish is remarkable, it can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, or baked making this a great easy meal that can be prepped ahead. Typically served with a sauce, my favorite is the cucumber-yogurt one I made here, but sometimes a rich spicy sauce makes a lovely addition. Traditional kofta recipes mix in white rice and yellow split peas, but my recipe omits that and focuses on the meaty flavor without the added starch.


Kofta can also be stuffed, including with nuts and berries, but this crosses over more into the dumpling category–and that is not what I was looking for here, especially when I’m whipping up dinner on a busy weekday. This tasty dish can be prepped and cooked in 30 minutes and does not get much better or faster than this! You can serve this simple dish with just about anything, favorites of mine include a simple chickpea salad, fresh hummus with some warm pita bread, oven-roasted vegetables, or couscous. And for the kids, eating meat on a stick may be appealing enough to get them to try it!


About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

2 thoughts on "Lamb Kofta With Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce"

  1. Avatar photo Karen says:

    So good! My kids both devoured these! Will have to double next time.

    1. Love hearing this Karen!!!!!

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