Food & dining

seasonal recipe

Recipe for kofte with yogurt sauce

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Turkish meatballs kofte have as many spellings as they do variations. It is common to flatten the meat into small patties and form it into an oblong shape around a skewer, or in this version, shape it into small torpedos. The mixture of ground lamb, garlic, onion, parsley, and spices is simple and immensely flavorful sauteed or grilled. Maras pepper (available at Middle Eastern markets) is the star ingredient, similar to Aleppo pepper, offering a warm heat. Eat kofte with a cooling yogurt dip.


cups plain yogurt
1tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1clove garlic, finely chopped
½tablespoon maras pepper or crushed red pepper
¼teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, mint, garlic, maras or crushed red pepper, and salt.


2. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Add more maras or crushed red pepper, if you like. Cover and refrigerate.

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1pound ground lamb
1clove garlic, finely chopped
1small onion, chopped
cup chopped fresh parsley
½teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon salt
½tablespoon maras pepper or crushed red pepper
tablespoons olive oil

1. In a bowl, combine the lamb, garlic, onion, parsley, cumin, salt, and maras pepper or crushed red pepper. With clean hands, mix well, and roll into 12 small football-shaped meatballs, about 1½ inches long.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the kofte and cook without disturbing for 2 minutes or until golden on the undersides. Turn and continue browning for 6 to 7 minutes total or until the kofte are golden all over and just cooked through (you may have to break one open). Serve with yogurt sauce. Molly Kravitz