Quick Lamb Kofta with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

  • EllenDeller Posted: 05/03/10
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    Outstanding recipe I will make many times. My only change was to add a TB of liquid egg white to the meat mixture and to cut the cumin and corriander in the sauce by one-half. I did also add a 1/2 tsp. of "Greek seasoning" (crushed fennel seed, mint, dried oregano) to the sauce. Made rice and steamed zukes. Portion size is rather small: for four adults, better add a big salad, fruit, or bread.

  • ehighland Posted: 05/12/10
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    This was a great-tasting and easy recipe for a weeknight. My husband and I loved the flavor of the lamb, as well as the sauce. I did reduce the garlic to 1 tsp for both the sauce and kofta, but kept the other spice amounts the same. The rice was not particularly flavorful, so next time I plan on doing something to add more flavor.

  • Healthyatbest Posted: 03/30/10
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    I thought this recipe was good but I found the cumin in the sauce to be too much. If I make this again I would 1/2 the cumin as it overpowered the other flavors.

  • Foodie25 Posted: 05/18/10
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    I used organic 8% lean beef instead of lamb(we're not huge lamb lovers)and were very happy with the results. I pretty much kept to the recipe but used my food processor for the harissa sauce which was divine! The whole family loved this dish. I added a simple salad of romaine, cucumber and tomato with a quick vinaigrette. I will definitely make this again. It was quick and delicious! A note to others...you can sometimes find saffron at Trader Joe's for a fraction of the cost at other supermarkets...and it comes in an adorable glass jar, which can be used for a bud vase!

  • Saecca Posted: 03/27/10
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    LOVED this recipe. My hubs and I fought over the last meatball (more like meat-oval, but you get it). I subbed the lamb for ground chicken and used yellow rice. I'm not sure if I accidentally added too much crushed red pepper, but the sauce was a tad spicy-- but still really good! I just used the entire jar of roasted red peppers. The meat ovals are so exceptionally seasoned,and then you dip it in the sauce-- yum! I would definitely make it again!

  • creativereader Posted: 04/29/10
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    My family did not really like this recipe. I agree with another reviewer that there was too much garlic. The amount of spices in the Kofta were too much. Tasted way too strong. Did not make the Saffron rice, because of the cost of saffron. We just used a different rice recipe.

  • 8stringfan Posted: 03/31/10
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    Decent meal/recipe, but I don’t think I’ll make it again. First off, I think there’s too much garlic everywhere in the meal...and this is coming from someone who loves garlic. IMO, the major culprit is the yogurt sauce – the garlic is far too sharp in there and if you have some the next day for leftovers, it’s overwhelming. Another issue is that if you cook a pound of lamb patties in a skillet on a stove-top your house is going to smell like sautéed lamb patties for a noticeable amount of time...days really. This one may be more suitable for the grill. The kofta recipe was pretty good, although a bit more sharp than I cared for – I’d cut the amount of onion and garlic, despite the fact that I love onion and garlic. Overall though, it was decently seasoned. One last note on the kofta is that I thought the cooking time was a bit long – mine were done in around 8 minutes total. A teaspoon of saffron can be quite pricey; save some money on the rice and use another rice recipe, or just suck up the sodium count and buy a packaged version. I recommend Casbah brand which can be found at Whole Foods and is healthier than Mahatma. Store-bought whole wheat naan would also be a good, inexpensive, carb-y accompaniment to the koftas.

  • MadisonCook Posted: 10/22/10
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    This was a very tasty meal that came together quickly. I substituted ground beef for the lamb which tasted very good. The only other substitution I made was to use Sriracha chili sauce instead of the red pepper flakes in the sauce. I just used a few drops, as it's very spicy and it worked very well. The sauce really sets off the dish. I didn't have time to cook rice, so I served it with pita pockets instead with fresh green beans on the side. You could easily add some leafy greens to a pita if you wanted to amp up the nutrition profile even further. My kids (7 & 4) ate it enthusiastically! I'll definitely make this again.

  • SDillard Posted: 03/26/10
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    This was a terrific recipe! I'm not a big lamb fan, but the meat spices and the (spicy!) Harissa sauce worked well together and made this very tasty. I substituted a packaged saffron rice from Mahatma, and it was fine. Maybe not as healthy as the scratch version, but it worked fine for us. I will definitely make this again.

  • DanaElaine Posted: 04/02/10
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    I've made this twice now - the first time with ground pork (and nonfat Greek yogurt) and the second with lamb (and 2% Greek yogurt). The ground pork cooked much faster than the lamb (with the lamb we used the full 10 minutes), and the nonfat yogurt didn't balance out the crushed pepper very well so the sauce was overly spicy. But with the ground lamb and 2% yogurt the meal overall was a total hit! Also, rather than purchase saffron I use less than the recommended amount of turmeric in the rice. It gives a similar color and, although I can't honestly compare because I've never sucked it up and purchased saffron, tastes good enough that I'm very happy. This is going into our recipe rotation! I would very happily serve this to company.

  • SGrove Posted: 03/24/10
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    I made the kofta with lean ground beef instead of lamb, and substituted a half pita for the rice (can't afford saffron). I made the sauce without the red bell peppers. This dish was a HIT. Even my kids liked it (7, 10, and 14). They're learning to eat new and different foods (branching away from chicken strips, hotdogs, and pasta)-they were quite impressed with how tasty this dish was. We'll definitely make again! Thanks!

  • lobsterbaby Posted: 05/02/10
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    This dish was excellent, the only glitch was I had trouble finding ground lamb let alone - the degree of "lean-ness". After cooking it was slightly greasy... draining lightly and served. Otherwise, perfect. My husband and a friend loved this recipe. I served it with a simple cucumber salad - with dill and a dash of rice vinegar. Loved the greek yogurt sauce. I will make this again and again :)

  • JessicaLuu Posted: 09/19/10
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    The meat was absolutely delicious! The rice was kind of a waste, so if I made it again I would probably put the meat into pita pockets or something.

  • Zookooker Posted: 02/13/11
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    Everyone loves it. Not the easiest recipe, but not hard either. Very tasty

  • KellyinMadison Posted: 07/11/10
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    I only made the kofta, which I served with couscous and a yogurt sauce cobbled together out of stuff in the fridge. The kofta were great! In order to Bittman-up this recipe (cut down meat per serving) I used only 3/4 lb of lamb and replaced the rest with cooked bulgar. I also substituted the cilantro with mint because I am one of those people. I got tasty, flavorful results with great texture. I'd say this recipe is a great starting point for ground lamb.

  • canteatanything Posted: 07/08/11
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    I made these with lean turkey instead of lamb. They were very dry, and really needed a lot of the sauce, which was really delicious. If I make them again, I will probably use a higher fat content chicken or turkey. I can't eat onions, didn't add them, and they were great. Took longer than 20 minutes to prepare.

  • bellymama Posted: 07/25/11
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    So flavorful! I followed the recipe except for using non-fat Greek yogurt and lean beef instead of lamb. I can only imagine how good this would be with lamb instead of the beef. Unfortunately the store was out of lamb. I served the kofta, sauce and rice with grilled zucchini. One question -- why is it called harissa yogurt sauce when there's no harissa in it?

  • gidget265 Posted: 09/12/11
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    OK, so I've perfected this recipe for our house....My recommendation is to use only a smidge of the cumin in the sauce, and to add seeded chopped fine cucumber to the sauce. Kafta's as is.... I've made this many times - we just love this. Husband calls this lamburgers...

  • Shadia797 Posted: 06/01/13
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    Love this recipe. I've made it several times now. However, as with most recipes on this site, the spice portions are just too mild to be noticed. With this recipe, I doubled the following ingredients for the kofta and love the results: mint, cumin, turmeric. The sauce portions are PERFECT. Delicious, easy recipe.

  • JenBaum Posted: 08/03/14
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    I know it's kind of annoying to read a review on a recipe that was changed, but here's what i altered and it was awesome! For the meat... Used 96/4 ground beef, nonfat Greek yogurt, added lots of parsley and a squeeze of lemon. It was tender, moist and flavorful. For the sauce, I left out the peppers because I didn't have any. Also, I used the last of my fresh garlic in the meat so I used granulated garlic. Delicious. Instead of rice, I made whole wheat orzo with parsley, feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon. Served with sautéed zucchini from our garden. A new favorite.

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