Food on a Stick: Kofte

2 Jun

I love to break up the meat and stuff it in the pita with some of the salad. Find your own favorite way to eat the kofte!

Luckily I didn’t try this recipe last night, especially with the long metal pointy sticks I was using. Even though I managed to cook dinner for four last night after three martinis (many thanks to The Husband’s grilling wizardry), it was bison burgers and we’ve made those several times before. I’m not sure if successfully cooking while intoxicated is really a skill I should shout about on my blog, but it’s a fact of life. So there.

The night before I used the pointy sticks, and there were no injuries to report. These minced-meat-on-a-stick idea came from me wandering around Whole Foods with no clue for dinner. I was not feeling overly creative, and we’d already had chicken twice that week. The Husband doesn’t like lamb too often, I can only eat bison (not beef, as they seem to lie about the “grass fed” part and it kills my stomach), and now we’ve been hearing about radioactive fish I figured he’d not like me bringing home fish either. So, how can I get something on the grill for dinner, I thought?

Not that we don’t grill for most of the year, thanks to our moderate temperatures and lack of snowdrifts during winter months, but when the nights get longer, it’s great to grill. Less dishes, the house doesn’t get heated up by the oven, and The Husband deals with it. Perfecto!

Straight off the grill!

Inspiration struck—turkey kofte. I had some chopped onions in the fridge, some cilantro and spices at the ready. Whole Foods had some ground dark-meat turkey and lovely pita breads, so off I went.

I made these with a Greek-style salad, with chunky tomatoes and cucumbers, salty feta and romaine lettuce. I added some cilantro on top, which is the part where I deviated from the “Greek” part. It probably would have been better with the standard dried oregano, now that I think about it. And we didn’t have any avocado, which I definitely would have added, and The Husband was displeased by the lack of it. He’s kind of addicted. I like to stuff the pita with the grilled meat and cover it with salad, with maybe a little mayo inside, but that’s just me.

Use pre-ground cumin and coriander seeds at your own risk. It won’t taste as good, I promise you…

This can be made with any ground meat, probably even fish if you wanted to get all fancy. I’d love to see if this could be vegetarianized somehow, maybe with TVP or the Yves ground “beef”, maybe even seitan. Perhaps you could do it with tempeh if you didn’t put it on sticks. I’m just worried how it would stick together, but I’m sure one of my many very clever and very vegan fellow bloggers could figure it out! If you do, please let me know.


1/2 lb. ground turkey (dark meat ideally)
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Mix the ingredients well—you want the flavors to be throughout the skewer!

1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 garlic clove

First take the last three ingredients and put them in a mini food processor and blast until the onion is in very tiny pieces. Add to the turkey along with the spices; mix well with hands.

Mold the mixture into four long tubes with your hands and wrap around metal or bamboo skewers (metal preferable!). Grill on each side for four minutes, approximately, on indirect heat (says The Husband).

Serve with warmed or grilled pita breads and a salad.


28 Responses to “Food on a Stick: Kofte”

  1. An Unrefined Vegan June 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I would’ve been all over these back in the day!

  2. girlinafoodfrenzy June 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    BBQ, grill, salads & Kofte! Sounds like you’ve definitely got summer sorted 🙂

  3. debbrunson June 3, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    LOL! Three martinis and sharp skewers would have definitely been a no go… glad you talked the Husband into the grill 😉 I’m still laughing just picturing a tipsy tiny kitchen… These do look like a perfect summer outdoor treat. May have to coerce my neighbors into borrowing their grill. And I think i’d wrap the meat up with the salad as well in the pita. Hmmm… now i’m ready to grill 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories June 5, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      The Tipsy Tiny Kitchen—I like the sound of that! And I’m sure if you make a little extra for your neighbors, they won’t mind you using the grill! 🙂

  4. Thoughts in Little Boxes June 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I know this is really stupid of me but I’ve never considered using other than lamb and I HATE lamb. I need to try these.

  5. Talon Sims June 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Tomorrow will be “catch up on Tiny Kitchen blogs” day! (and respond to them!)
    I can’t wait! I have some free time until next week so i am on it Sis! I LOVE YOU and that wonderful Brother of mine too! xoxoxo Hi from Gusto! p.s. I will read them all and respond in one big email so you don’t have to open all of them individually. THEN I will read and respond to them AS THEY COME IN from now on. Because I want to so there! XO again!

  6. lorrielorrieb June 4, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Nothin says FUN like food on a stick!!

  7. Leyann Smili June 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I’m Lebanese and this is one of my favorite things to eat in Lebanon! Great post.

    • tinykitchenstories June 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Thanks, Leyann! That’s true praise indeed. I hope that if you make them, they are up to your standards!

  8. thegrubbyhen June 5, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    That is making me hungry! Lovely looking salad too 😀

    • tinykitchenstories June 5, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Thank you! Every time I look at it, I get a little hungry myself… 😉

  9. Mama's Gotta Bake June 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Yum, I love this dish! So many Mediterranean restaurants in LA serve it, but I guess I should try and make it myself. Great job!

  10. eof737 June 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Looks very tasty…

    • tinykitchenstories June 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Cheers! It’s very adaptable to the spices and herbs you prefer. Technically, there’s parsley instead of cilantro, but The Husband is not a fan of parsley, so presto changeo!

  11. weekend knitter June 10, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    I really think my family would like these (they’re like piggies 🙂 )….I haven’t eaten meat in a few years, but had been considering fish. Radioactive fish though? Looks like I have more thinking to do, lol! Love your presentation!

    • tinykitchenstories June 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks! And I’m convinced you could use some fake “beef” crumbles and use the same recipe, or even some seitan. Let me know how you get on! 🙂

  12. AnnTran_ January 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    This sounds Yummy! I have not cooked for hubby for ages. Your post inspires me to try this recipe out!

    Thank YOU,

    • tinykitchenstories January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      I love it when I’m able to inspire people to cook! This is an easy way to make ground turkey a tasty treat. Enjoy!

  13. tinykitchenstories January 28, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Thanks for the plug and link! 🙂


  1. Meat on a stick. « what have we got here? - June 21, 2012

    […] of my blogger friends from Tiny Kitchen Stories recently posted a recipe for Kofta which is a Middle Eastern version of meat on a […]

  2. Spicy Meatball Soup « what have we got here? - January 28, 2013

    […] have either of those on hand. But what I DID have was some some left over ground meat from making Kofte two nights before. And if you have been following this blog for any time now, you know I am a […]

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