The Classic Moroccan Kefta Kebab Recipe

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The smell of these Classic Moroccan Kefta Kebabs, when cooking, instantly transports me to the sunny beaches of Morocco where families will bbq their kefta at small pop-up venders scattered around the beach. Kefta, also known as kofta, is a beloved Moroccan appetizer featuring tender, spiced ground lamb or beef. This recipe stays true to tradition with a blend of cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander, and parsley, all thoroughly mixed and formed onto skewers.

The beauty of kefta lies in its versatility; while this recipe uses the classic spice and herb quantities, feel free to adjust them to suit your palate. It isn’t uncommon for people to add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mint leaves and even ras-el-hanout, however, these are optional ingredients as fresh mint makes an especially great seasoning when using ground lamb and the extra spices can further enhance the flavour. BUT, I am keeping it classic. Classic means no additions or bid3a’s, just the spices it’s always had and always will continue to need for it to be the traditional Moroccan kefta kebabs we love and cherish. 

These kebabs are perfect for grilling, offering a burst of flavour with every bite. If you’re without skewers, simply shape the kefta into flat meatballs. The shift in shape doesn’t affect the delicious flavour.

How to Serve Moroccan Kefta Kebabs?

You can serve your kebabs with a side of rice, or for a true taste of Morocco, serve your kefta kebabs with Moroccan Cucumber Salad, or tuck them into some Moroccan bread with a dollop of Taktouka salad for an authentic Moroccan kefta sandwich. Oh, and don’t forget the Moroccan Mint Tea!

Tips On Grinding Your Own Kefta

If you have the equipment and confidence to grind your meat at home, you can achieve an even better level of freshness and control over the texture. A finer grind works best for this dish, ensuring a tender kefta. Traditional methods involve passing the meat, fat, spices, and herbs through a meat grinder together, blending the flavours seamlessly. If opting for wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before threading the kefta to prevent them from burning on the grill. This step ensures that your kebabs cook evenly and without any unwanted charred flavours.

Choose the Right Cuts: Select cuts of meat with a good balance of lean meat and fat. For kefta, a combination of beef chuck and lamb shoulder works well, providing both flavour and moisture.

Keep it Cold: Ensure that the meat, fat, and grinder attachments are all very cold before grinding. This helps maintain the texture and prevents the fat from melting too quickly.

Grind in Batches: For the best results, grind the meat in small batches, making sure not to overcrowd the grinder. This helps achieve a more consistent texture.

Chill Before Forming: Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This makes it easier to shape the kefta and helps the flavours meld.

Use Immediately or Freeze: Use the ground meat immediately or freeze it in airtight bags/containers for later use. Frozen ground meat should be consumed within a few months for the best quality.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your homemade kefta kebabs are flavourful, moist, and perfectly textured.

Ingredients

  • 500g ground lamb or beef (if using beef mix with 3 ounces of ground lamb of beef fat). You can use lean ground meat, but the classic recipe calls for a higher fat content for a moister result.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped very fine or grated
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

How to Make Classic Moroccan Kefta Kebabs

  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients.
  2. Mix and Chill: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to meld. If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them in water to prevent burning.
  3. Preheat the Grill or griddle pan: Preheat your grill or grill pan for the kebabs.
  4. Shape the Kebabs: Take small portions of the kefta mixture and shape them into cylinders or sausage shapes. Thread the shaped meat onto the skewers, pressing and moulding it onto the skewers as you go.
  5. Cook the Kebabs: Place the skewers on the preheated oven grill or over hot coal. Cook the kebabs for about 5 minutes on each side. The cooking time may vary depending on the heat of your grill and the thickness of the kebabs. Avoid overcooking to prevent dryness.
  6. Serve: Serve the kebabs immediately, or keep them warm by wrapping them in aluminium foil while you cook additional batches. (You can refrigerate leftover kebabs in an airtight container or zip-close bag for up to four days).
  7. Enjoy your Moroccan Kefta Kebabs!

Classic Moroccan Kefta Recipe

Kefta, also known as kofta, is a beloved Moroccan appetizer featuring tender, spiced ground lamb or beef. This recipe stays true to tradition with a blend of cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander, and parsley, all thoroughly mixed and formed onto skewers.
The beauty of kefta lies in its versatility; while this recipe uses the classic spice and herb quantities, feel free to adjust them to suit your palate. It isn't uncommon for people to add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mint leaves and even ras-el-hanout, however, these are optional ingredients.
Servings 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Equipment

  • Metal or wooden skewers
  • Mixing bowl
  • Grill, BBQ or griddle pan

Ingredients

  • 500 g ground lamb or beef if using beef mix with 3 ounces of ground lamb of beef fat. You can use lean ground meat, but the classic recipe calls for a higher fat content for a moister result.
  • 1 medium onion chopped very fine or grated
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients.
  • Mix and Chill: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to meld. If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them in water to prevent burning.
  • Preheat the Grill or griddle pan: Preheat your grill or grill pan for the kebabs.
  • Shape the Kebabs: Take small portions of the kefta mixture and shape them into cylinders or sausage shapes. Thread the shaped meat onto the skewers, pressing and moulding it onto the skewers as you go.
  • Cook the Kebabs: Place the skewers on the preheated oven grill or over hot coal. Cook the kebabs for about 5 minutes on each side. The cooking time may vary depending on the heat of your grill and the thickness of the kebabs. Avoid overcooking to prevent dryness.
  • Serve: Serve the kebabs immediately, or keep them warm by wrapping them in aluminium foil while you cook additional batches. (You can refrigerate leftover kebabs in an airtight container or zip-close bag for up to four days).
  • Enjoy your Moroccan Kefta Kebabs!
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: ground meat, kebab

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