Delicious Lamb Koftas with Scarlet Quinoa

With grilling season coming – I thought I would share my recipe for Lamb Kofta. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat — usually beef or lamb — mixed with spices and/or onions. The vegetarian variety like lauki kofta, shahi aloo kofta are popular in India.  This recipe is so simple – and is serious delicious. Lots of fresh herbs and combinations of flavors that are unexpected, and the scarlet quinoa creates some visual drama. One of my most favorite summer recipes!

Grilled Lamb Kofta with Scarlet Quinoa Tomato Cucumber Salad


  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat ground turkey
  • 1/4 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 stalks extremely fine-diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, oregano, and paprika
  • 3 tablespoons panko
  • season with salt

Mix it all up and refridgerate it all while we make the tabule.

I make a cup of scarlet quinoa (add 1 cup of dry scarlet quinoa grain to 1 1/4 cup boiling chicken stock) stir in the quinoa – and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes – take off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes – then fluff with a fork.

meanwhile we’ll make our veggies:

  • the zest and juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 an english cucumber finely diced
  • equal parts 1 tablespoon mint, parsley, cilantro and dill
  • 4 finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 stalks of finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

then slowly mix in the quinoa and then once well mixed together – in the fridge till your meat is ready.

  • yogurt
  • 1 tblspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tblspoon cumin
  • juice of one lemon

mix it together in the food processor and in the fridge till the meat is ready.

I put the BBQ on high heat.

Make meatballs with a tablespoon – and then roll your meat balls in olive oil, fresh ground pepper and a little ground sea salt.

these will grill very fast on the grille – literally – as you finish setting your meatballs down – immediately start turning them from where you started. MAX 1 minute on each side – then put them on a lightly oiled baking pan – and into the oven for five minutes at 350.

then – its time to serve. Plate the still sizzling koftas on a bed of the scarlet quinoa salad – and garnish with the yogurt-coriander-lemon sauce.