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Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce

Hi Everyone! Happy Thursday to you. Today we have an easy recipe that is traced back to Persia, however many Middle Eastern cultures have a version of it – the Kofta. A small meatball with onions, herbs and spices, cooked on a skewer. This recipe is for Chicken Kofta. We are forgoing the skewer because I could not, for the life of me, get these little football-shaped meatballs to stay on the skewer. We also have a tangy, light, savory yogurt sauce to go with. Let’s jump right in…

Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce

Mixing the Kofta

The spices in the Chicken Kofta are what make this little meatball so fragrant and flavorful. The onions add a juicy moistness to the chicken. The fresh chopped mint and cilantro bring their herby freshness. I only had coriander seeds instead of ground coriander, so I lightly toasted them and ground them in my spice grinder, which I think gave the Kofta an especially floral scent and flavor.

chicken kofta ingredients

Mix all of the herbs, spices, grapeseed oil and onions and the ground chicken with your hands, cover and pop the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position an oven rack to the top third of the oven – for me this was the second position from the top. Preheat the oven on broil.

A Note on the Onion

You definitely want to grate the onion on a box grater or in your food processor. They need to be so finely minced, that they melt into the meat. In hindsight, not squeezing out the excess onion water (like one does for Kabob Koobideh) is likely what made these little Kofta too loose to stay on the skewers. But I think it worked out well because ground chicken tends to dry out and these Kofta we moist and flavorful.

Savory Yogurt Sauce

yogurt sauce ingredients

Orange zest and juice brighten up this yogurt sauce. We also have some coriander in the yogurt sauce, so that floral scent is accentuated. It’s so simple, yet it really adds so much flavor to this dish. Just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge to let the flavors come together while we shape and broil the Kofta.

yogurt sauce

Shaping the Kofta

Set up your station with a sheet tray to one side and take about three tablespoons of the chicken mixture and roll it between your palms into an oval shape, much like a football.

forming chicken kofta

Place the Kofta on the sheet tray and broil for about 4-6 minutes, until they brown a little on top. Then flip them and broil for another 4-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees.

While the Kofta are broiling, we can toss together a little salad. I have spring greens and grape tomatoes that I lightly dressed with olive oil and a little citrus champagne vinegar; a little pinch of flaky sea salt and some cracked black pepper.

side salad

You can serve the Kofta with the salad alone and the yogurt sauce, or you can nestle the Kofta and the salad in a pita, or flatbread. I found some whole grain Lavash, which is thin and pliable like a flour tortilla. If serving with flatbread, lightly warm the bread in a skillet with a little olive oil, just to soften it up.

Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce, salad and flatbread

Then pile on a little dressed salad, place two to three Kofta on the salad and drizzle with the yogurt sauce. I rolled mine up in the Lavash like a little burrito.

Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce

This Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce is such a wonderfully easy, healthy, delicious recipe. It’s definitely something that will be on regular rotation at our house. With more practice, I hope to get the little Kofta to stay on skewers…I’d like to do these on the grill this summer.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, thank you for spending some time with me today. Give these Chicken Kofta a try, they are so simple. The flavors are such a nice change of pace from a typical meatball. Another fantastic change-of-pace dish we did recently is Smoked Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mashies, check out the recipe! Share this recipe on Pinterest with your friends and family! And do let me know if you make them, take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly

Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce and salad

Chicken Kofta with Yogurt Sauce

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Dinner, Main Course Middle Eastern
By Adapted from Eating Well Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 11 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

The spices in the Chicken Kofta are what make this little meatball so fragrant and flavorful. The onions add a juicy moistness to the chicken. The fresh chopped mint and cilantro bring their herby freshness. Served with a citrusy, herby yogurt sauce.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Kofta
  • 1 lb. Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, grated
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Grapeseed Oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Aleppo Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp. Grated Orange Zest
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice

Instructions

Chicken Kofta

1

Combine all ingredients for the Kofta in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2

Position oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to broil.

3

Form about three tablespoons of the chicken mixture into an oval shape and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat until chicken mixture is formed into ovals.

4

Broil for 4-6 minutes and flip Kofta over and broil another 5 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Yogurt Sauce

5

Combine all ingredients for Yogurt Sauce in a medium bowl and stir well to combine.

To Serve

6

If desired, make a small salad with tender baby greens and tomatoes. Dress with a light drizzle of olive oil, light vinegar, salt and pepper.

7

If desired, serve Kofta on a flat bread or pita with salad and yogurt sauce.

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  • Loya
    February 11, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Your dishes are always so beautiful looking and make me want to make them right away! This one is amazing!

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 11, 2021 at 9:35 am

      Hi Loya, Thank you so much! I really enjoy taking the photos of the dishes and the process. I am happy you enjoy them! Thanks so much for reaching out – do let me know if you make this dish! Have a great day, xo Kelly