Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
This Yemeni version of kofta kebabs is adapted from Mohamed Almuhtadi. You can grill or bake the meatballs. Note that the mixture holds onto the skewers much better if you let it rest overnight and make each skewer just before grilling it. Almuhtadi makes a slightly different shape by placing only one thin kebab on each skewer, but you can add more. You can use metal or bamboo skewers; if bamboo, soak in water 30 minutes beforehand.
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ground beef (or a mixture) or 2 1⁄2 lbs lamb (or a mixture)
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2⁄3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 medium pepper)
- 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1⁄4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- room temperature Greek yogurt, for serving
- warm pita bread, for serving
- Combine all the ingredients, except the yogurt and pita, in a large bowl; refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- To grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high; clean and oil the grates. Working close to the grill, form about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball. While turning the skewer (this helps the mixture stick), skewer the ball, flattening it to a 3-inch-long oval tapered at the ends. Pinch well on the ends to attach the kebabs to the skewer. Add more balls to the skewer, if you like, and place the skewers on the grill as you go. Cook until they are browned and still have a slight give in the center, turning twice, 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- To bake: Preheat the oven to 375° and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Place the kofta on skewers as described above. Or, form into balls of the same shape, place on the prepared pan and bake until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. If you like, finish under the broiler until golden, about 3 minutes.
- To serve: Serve the kofta right away with yogurt for dipping and pita bread.