Open beef kofta

George Calombariss recipe shows off all the components of this popular Middle Eastern street food, from tender beef to aromatic spices
Open beef kofta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic, thinly sliced
  • 500 g minced topside beef
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 large pitta bread
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 baby cucumber
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1 bunches coriander
  • deep-fried rings of shallots


1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast the coriander and cumin seeds for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until aromatic. Tip into a mortar and grind until fine with a pestle.

2. Return the frying pan to a low heat and add half of the olive oil. Fry the shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Spoon into a bowl and chill in the fridge until cooled.

3. In a bowl, combine the mince, lemon zest, egg, breadcrumbs, mustard, the shallot and garlic mixture and ground spices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined.

4. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

5. Spread the beef mixture over the pitta, pressing into a thin layer, leaving a 1cm border around the edge of the bread.

6. Heat the remaining olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, then add the pitta bread and cook for one minute, or until the underside of the pitta is just beginning to brown. Transfer the pan to the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the beef is golden-brown and cooked through.

7. Meanwhile, finely slice the onion into a bowl using a mandoline. Season with salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

8. Thinly slice the cucumbers on an angle and place into a bowl. Season with salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

9. To serve, slide the kofta from the pan onto a serving plate. Spread a line of Greek yogurt across the beef, then top with the onion, cucumber, coriander and deep-fried shallots.

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