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Lamb Koftas with Mint and Yoghurt Dressing

These spicy Middle Eastern meatballs make a great midweek supper either with a crisp green salad, or stuffed inside a warmed pitta bread with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes. Either way, drizzle over plenty of mint and yoghurt dressing to counteract the spice of the koftas.


  • Olive oil

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground

  • Chilli flakes, to taste

  • 500g minced lamb

  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the dressing

  • Small bunch of mint, leaves only

  • ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds

  • 2–3 tbsp natural yoghurt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • 1.

    Place a small frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. When hot, sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Add the cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.

  • 2.

    Set aside to cool slightly.

  • 3.

    Put the lamb into a mixing bowl, add the onion mixture and chopped herbs along with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.

  • 4.

    Roll the lamb mixture into pieces the size of golf balls and flatten them into patties about 1 cm thick.

  • 5.

    Place on a plate drizzled with a little oil, and drizzle the tops of the patties with more oil, ready for cooking. Cover and chill for about 10 minutes to firm up.

  • 6.

    Meanwhile, make the dressing. Put the mint into a mortar and bash it with the pestle to bruise it.

  • 7.

    Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

  • 8.

    Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, then transfer to a serving bowl.

  • 9.

    Place a griddle pan over a medium high heat.

  • 10.

    When hot, griddle the koftas for 5–6 minutes, turning halfway through so that both sides are well browned. 

  • 11.

    Serve the koftas warm with the dressing on the side.


Recipes extracted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsay, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Photography © Con Poulos


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