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Easy Beef Kofta (Mama’s Recipe)

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We are so excited to be sharing with you our Mama’s Easy Beef Kofta Recipe. Made with simple ingredients and a myriad of warm spices, our Mama’s kofta recipe will transport your tastebuds to the Middle East. Serve with hummus, tzatziki, and your favorite sides for a show stopping meal! 

overhead image of beef kofta on top of a salad with bowls of tzatziki, a small bowl of capers, and pita on the side

Mama’s Recipe

Our Mama has been our biggest inspiration and our number one supporter. Growing up, she would spend hours in the kitchen cooking our favorite Egyptian recipes. Today, we continue the same traditions with our families’ except simplifying recipes to fit our busy lifestyle. 

What Is Kofta? 

Kofta or kefta is a mixture of meat (typically lamb and beef), warm spices, and typically onions. There are endless variations to the dish, and it exists in countless forms including meatballs, kebabs, and meatloaf. 

What’s the Difference Between kofta and Kebab? 

Although kofta kebabs are common, they are not what you probably think of when hearing the word kebab. You see, most commonly kebabs are made with chunks of meat that have been pierced with a skewer. However, kofta kebabs are made with ground meat that has been formed around the skewer

overhead image of bulgur in a food processor

What You’ll Need for the Best Beef Kofta

There are so many ways to make kofta! Our version was passed down from our mom’s recipe and features a blend of spices, but feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors.

  • Ground Beef – You don’t want a lean beef. We recommend using a package containing at least 20% fat. Otherwise, your kofta recipe won’t hold together. 
  • Bulgur – Not found in every kofta recipe, we find that bulgur adds a nice nutty flavor and bulks of the kofta for a more well-rounded meal. 
  • Onion – Saving the juice of the onion is the key to locking in moisture and creating an amazing flavor. 
  • Spices – While some recipes contain tons of spices, we keep things simple with Italian parsley, salt, pepper, and cardamom. 
  • Baking Powder – This helps the kofta hold its form around the skewers and locks in the moisture, keeping them soft and tender. 
  • overhead image of bulgur being strained over a bowl

    How to Make An Easy Beef Kofta Recipe

    There are as many ways to cook kofta as there are to season the classic recipe. However, we love to make them on the grill for a crowd-pleasing summer recipe! Take a look at an overview of the steps below, and scroll to the bottom for the complete details. 

    1. Soak the bulgur for an hour, and drain it completely. 
    2. Pulse the onions in a food processor. Then, strain them, and reserve the leftover liquid. 
    3. Combine the beef, seasonings, and baking powder in a large bowl. 
    4. Pulse the mixture in a food processor, working in batches if necessary. 
    5. Dip your fingers in the onion juice, and place the beef on skewers.
      • TIP: Refrigerate the ground beef mixture for at least one hour (up to 24 hours) before cooking on the grill. The longer it sits, the better it will taste.
    6. Grill on medium heat, rotating the skewers until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.

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