Grilled Kofta Kebabs

Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before grilling. To make lamb and turkey koftas at the same time, combine all the ingredients except the meat first, then transfer half the mixture to another bowl and add one pound of each meat to each bowl.


  • 2 pounds ground lamb or dark-meat turkey

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt (or 2 ¼ teaspoons, if using ground turkey)

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Pita Bread; assorted accompaniments; sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion; and mint sprigs, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, gently stir together meat, onion, parsley, oil, cumin seeds, cinnamon, salt, and pepper just to combine (do not overmix). Form 1/4 cup of meat mixture into a 3-inch-long oval and place on a rimmed baking sheet brushed with oil. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  2. Heat grill for direct heat (or a grill pan over medium-high). Thread each meat oval onto a skewer. Brush grill grates with oil. Grill kebabs, turning as needed, until cooked through and charred in spots, and a thermometer inserted in middles (avoiding skewers) registers 140 degrees (for medium-rare) for lamb, 6 to 8 minutes; or 165 degrees for turkey, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with pitas and accompaniments.

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