Spicy Kafta With Yogurt Sauce

Low on groceries and even lower on money, I took out some ground beef to defrost this morning.  I’m all out of potatoes and we already had rice and pasta this week, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  I did have about half a box of whole wheat couscous.  So, I’m thinking how in the world am I going to make couscous and ground beef work together?  Then I remember a dish we had at a middle-eastern restaurant, over the summer.  It was called kafta, similar to Greek beefteki, but with its roots in Turkey and Lebanon.  It was delicious…herby and spicy.  I looked up some recipes online and altered what I found to work with the pantry ingredients I had in stock.  Traditionally this dish is grilled and made with ground mutton or lamb but, my grill is officially out of commission until next summer, so I decided that broiling it in my gas oven would be the next best thing.  Here’s what I came up with:



Ground Beef

Fresh Parsley

Red Onion

Kosher salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Goya Sazon

Bread Crumbs

(I know it sounds like an odd combo but, I promise, it worked.  I used the Sazon because it is made mostly of cumin which, is a common ingredient in this dish.)

Yogurt Sauce:

Plain Nonfat Yogurt

Low Fat Sour Cream

Lemon Zest

Fresh Lemon Juice

Fresh Garlic

Kosher Salt

Fresh Parsley


Start by preheating your broiler.  I put mine on the low setting to insure that the meat cooked through before it got too browned.  While it preheats, finely chop some red onion and fresh parsley.

001In a bowl, combine this with the ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/2 pack of sazon, a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt and pepper.

002As I mentioned in Meatloaf Meatballs, be sure not to overmix your meat mixture, so it doesn’t get tough.  With your hands, form handfuls of the meat mixture into flat ovals and place on your pre-heated broiler pan.

003Place pan in pre-heated broiler and allow to cook until patties are browned and spring back when touched.  You will be able to smell the patties when they are close to done.  While they cook, you can prepare the yogurt sauce.  I didn’t have any greek yogurt, so I combined about 2/3 regular plain nonfat yogurt and 1/3 low fat sour cream.

004In a small bowl, combine this with finely chopped parsley, 1/2 a lemon’s worth of zest and its juice, a small clove of finely grated garlic, and salt to taste.

005I served the kafta with the couscous that I seasoned with lemon zest and sazon and peas with olive oil and lemon juice (that I almost burned).

008I was really pleased with the results and will definitely make it again…enjoy!


1 Comment

Filed under Beef, Ethnic, Make Your Own Takeout

One response to “Spicy Kafta With Yogurt Sauce

  1. OH YUM!! You know I Loooooove kafta!

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