Kefta is made by grinding meat and mixing it with an assortment of spices. It can be shaped into meatballs or cylinders of meat or even a meatloaf and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. Beef and lamb are the most two common choices of meat for kefta, but I also use turkey as well for a healthy alternative. Lean meat is preferred in this meal so that it does not become too oily. Kefta can be grilled, roasted, baked, fried, steamed, poached, or broiled. Kefta can be served with a yogurt dip, tomato or tahini sauce. There are many other options as well. Bread and vegetables can also be used to make a sandwich or you can cook kefta on a skewer. Other names of kefta is kofta, kufta, kafteh, keftes and kyuftah. It can be found all over the Mediterranean region and in other places such as India and Romania.
Below is a recipe for Homemade Tomato Pine-Nut Kefta. I baked this version and used half turkey and half ground beef for a healthier version
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 pounds ground – beef, lamb or turkey
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 c water
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Grease 8″ x 15″ baking pan with olive oil.
3. Mix ground-meat, onion, parsley, salt, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon very well with hands.
4. Mold the meat into a shape of your desire. I did kefta balls. Place into the greased baking pan. Pour water over meat.
5. Add sauce (Optional- see below)
6. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 2 hours or until meat is done.
7. Serve hot from pan and enjoy!
Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 recipe kefta
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 4 fresh, ripe tomatoes, wedged
- 1/4 c pine nuts
1. Wedge the tomatoes.
2. After placing kefta balls into pan, add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, and pine nuts directly on top of meat.
3. Go to step 6 above.