How to Make a Traditional Middle Eastern Kofta with a Spicy Tomato Sauce?

In the world of gastronomy, Middle Eastern cuisine holds a prominent spot. Known for its rich flavours and aromatic spices, it spins a magic that is hard to resist. One dish that embodies this culinary spirit is the traditional Middle Eastern Kofta. To enhance its magic, it is often paired with a spicy tomato sauce that adds a tangy kick, making it an irresistible treat. Today, we are going to unveil the secrets of making this delightful dish. This article is a step-by-step guide on how to make a traditional Middle Eastern Kofta with a spicy tomato sauce.

Gathering the Ingredients

Before we start with the cooking process, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients.

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The ingredients required for making kofta include finely ground lamb or beef, finely chopped onions, chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper, and salt. All these ingredients will be mixed with the meat to create the kofta.

For the spicy tomato sauce, you will need tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, red chili powder, sugar, vinegar, and salt. The key to a good sauce is to balance the heat, sweetness and acidity. So, you might want to adjust the quantities of these ingredients as per your taste.

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Preparing the Kofta

The first step in the journey to a delicious kofta is its preparation.

Start by mixing the ground meat, onions, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. It is recommended to use your hands for the mixing process to ensure the spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Once mixed, divide the mixture into equal portions and shape them into oval or round balls. You may also shape them as cylinders around skewers if you plan to grill them.

Once you have shaped the koftas, place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will help the koftas to hold their shape while cooking and the flavours to marinate into the meat.

Cooking the Kofta

After the koftas have been chilled and marinated, it’s time to cook them.

You can grill, fry, or bake the koftas, depending on your preference. If you’re grilling, make sure to preheat the grill and lightly oil the grates before placing the koftas. Rotate them every few minutes until they are evenly cooked and have a nice char on the outside. If you’re frying, heat some oil in a pan and fry the koftas until they are nicely browned on all sides. If you’re baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), place the koftas on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Preparing the Spicy Tomato Sauce

While the koftas are cooking, let’s prepare the spicy tomato sauce.

Start by heating some oil in a pan and sautéing the onions and garlic until they are soft. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red chili powder, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until it thickens. You can adjust the flavor by adding more chili powder, sugar, or salt according to your taste.

Serving the Koftas with the Spicy Tomato Sauce

Now that both the koftas and the sauce are ready, it’s time to serve the dish.

Arrange the koftas on a platter and pour the spicy tomato sauce over them. You can garnish the koftas with some fresh parsley or coriander leaves for an extra touch of freshness.

The traditional Middle Eastern Kofta with a spicy tomato sauce is best served with some warm pita bread or rice. It’s a hearty meal that is sure to impress your guests with its rich flavors and enticing aroma.

Please note that the recipe may require some adjustments according to your personal taste and dietary needs. However, the essence lies in the perfect blend of spices and the meticulous preparation process. Enjoy the culinary journey and make your mealtime a grand feast with this traditional Middle Eastern Kofta recipe.

Pairing Suggestions for Kofta with Spicy Tomato Sauce

The final step to enhance your dining experience is to choose the right pairings to accompany the Kofta. While the spicy tomato sauce adds a tangy edge that complements the rich flavours of the Kofta, the perfect side dish or beverage can elevate the meal to another level.

For side dishes, consider some traditional Middle Eastern options. Couscous or Bulgur wheat can provide a delightful texture contrast to the softness of the Kofta. Tabbouleh, a refreshing salad of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, onion and garlic, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, can also be a great accompaniment. Alternatively, you can serve the Kofta with warm pita bread which can be used to soak up the delicious spicy tomato sauce.

As for beverages, a traditional option would be Mint tea, a popular choice in Middle Eastern countries, known for its refreshing taste that can balance out the spiciness of the dish. For a more robust option, consider pairing the Kofta with a full-bodied red wine that can stand up to the rich flavours of the dish. Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz can be good choices.

Remember, the aim is to choose pairings that will complement and not overpower the flavours of the Kofta and the spicy tomato sauce. The combination of these elements will create a well-rounded meal that will transport you to the heart of the Middle East.


And there you have it – a step-by-step guide on how to make a traditional Middle Eastern Kofta with a spicy tomato sauce. This dish, with its rich flavours and tantalising spices, is a true representation of Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a culinary journey that takes your taste buds on a ride through a land renowned for its gastronomic delights.

Don’t forget, the beauty of home cooking is that you have the freedom to adjust the recipe according to your preferences. Feel free to experiment with different spices, vary the heat level of the tomato sauce, or choose alternative pairings that suit your palate.

As you embark on this culinary adventure, remember to enjoy the process. The essence of cooking lies not just in the final product, but also in the joy of creating a meal from scratch. So, put on your chef’s hat, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to cook up a storm with this traditional Middle Eastern Kofta recipe.

Bon appétit, or as it’s said in Arabic, Bil hana wish shifa!