Lamb Kofta with Garlicky Yogurt + Tahini Sauce

Lamb kofta 1

I adore lamb, but am particularly fond of it ground, spiced with garlic, cumin, cilantro, coriander and salt, and grilled kabob-style. Despite my endless love for lamb kofta (a word that refers to all kinds of spiced, minced meat-balls, kabobs et al), I rarely think to make it, and I can’t fathom why that is. It’s meat on a stick, and it cooks in about ten minutes, and you can drag it through garlicky yogurt. At any rate, I was reminded how easy they were to make when I fired up the grill at 6:30 am to make them for CBC this morning, and cooked some flatbread alongside while I was at it, using the same naan recipe I’ve used for years – because I knew I’d be cooking early in the morning, I made the dough last night and kept it in the fridge to slow the rise.

Lamb kofta 3

Some people love standing over their grill flipping steaks-I love flipping flatbread. (It works for pizza too, just cook it until it’s golden on the bottom, flip it, top with whatever tasty things you have plus cheese, close the lid for a few minutes and presto-the closest you’ll come to wood-fired pizza at home.) In this case I made a quick dip-spread with labneh (because I was out of yogurt), tahini, garlic and lemon juice, with a bit of olive oil and water to loosen things up a bit. (It’s still pretty thick, and I’m OK with that.) If you like, get a ramekin of olive oil, squish a clove of garlic into it, and stand over the grill, brushing the breads and kofta with the garlicky oil. Seriously. It’s easy.

Lamb kofta 2

Lamb Kofta with Garlicky Yogurt + Tahini Sauce


June 6, 2017


1 lb ground lamb

2 green onions or a few chives, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely crushed

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp salt

pinch red chili flakes

Yogurt Sauce with Garlic and Tahini:

1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably thick)

2 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1-2 big garlic cloves, finely crushed

big pinch salt


1To make the sauce, stir together the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt; taste and adjust as you like it. If possible, make it up to a day or two in advance to allow the flavours to blend.

2To make the kofta, mix all the ingredients together gently with your hands. Soak about 8 bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes. Shape a small handful of the meat mixture around the end of each stick (you could even fit two per stick). Preheat your grill to medium and grill the kofta, turning them often, for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. Serve warm, with the yogurt sauce and warm flatbread. Serves 6.


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5 comments on “Lamb Kofta with Garlicky Yogurt + Tahini Sauce

  1. Lisa
    June 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

    How much garlic is needed for the yogurt sauce?

    • Julie
      June 14, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      A clove or two, depending on how strong your garlic is and how garlicky you like it!

  2. Lisa
    June 15, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Thank you for adding the garlic to the recipe. And yes garlic is king.
    Love your posts!

  3. Linda
    July 4, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Can you do this with ground beef or pork?

  4. Deliverr
    December 15, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Amazing recipe, It looks like easy and delicious!!!

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