What is kefta, anyways? Delicious, that’s what.
Kefta is Middle Eastern street food: essentially they are seasoned, grilled meatballs. The most recognizable kefta is made with ground lamb or a mixture of beef & lamb; seasoning varies depending on the region and the cook, but generally includes onions, garlic, turmeric, harissa, cumin, and cinnamon. The meat mixture is sometimes wrapped around a boiled egg and then broiled or grilled, and it can also be simmered in a rich, savory sauce and served with rice. In parts of India, kefta is often comprised of ground prawns, fish, or goat meat, bananas, spices and cabbage – a combination I am eager to try one of these days!
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- Preheat the broiler or grill on high heat.
- If using wooden skewers, set them in water to soak; they should be wet enough to use by the time the meat is ready to skewer.
- Put all ingredients, minus the meat, in a food processor and pulse briefly. Add the meat and pulse again until combined. Alternatively, you can grate the onion, mince the garlic and herbs, and then combine with the other ingredients and mix together thoroughly. I personally like to use my hands for this process.
- Divide the mixture into sixteen 1oz balls (if you don’t have a scale, 1oz = 2 tablespoons). Mold each ball around a skewer, pressing the meat gently yet firmly into a cylindrical shape. I find using the palm of my hand works better than just using fingers for this step.
- Either grill or broil the kefta skewers for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned.
- Serve with veggies and cauliflower rice.