Main image
25th March
written by Steph

Lamb kofta & vegetable stew

When Tony and I were in New York back in November we ate a lot of amazing food. Obviously.  But hands down, our favorite thing we ate was a lamb kofta from a halal street meat vendor.  It was a taste sensation, and I rue that we only ate there once AND that Tony would shove as much of it as possible into his gaping maw while pushing me into oncoming traffic to prevent me from doing the same.  I know the man loves me, but I am no match for that kofta.

Since then, I have been having intermittent cravings for that delicious dish, but who knows when we’ll have a chance to head back to New York.  So I set out to try and recreate it at home.  And as with so many attempts to replicate dishes, I came nowhere close to that now-almost-mythical kofta… but thanks to this recipe over at TasteFood I did make a pretty damn good dish anyway.  It doesn’t really taste anything like the thing we had in New York, but it’s tasty, filling, and healthy, so try it out! Ingredients (for the vegetable stew)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 large turnips, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 small cauliflower, florets broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite size piece
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes (we used fire roasted ones for extra flavor)
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 4 cups of Swiss chard leaves, washed and chopped into 2” pieces
  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot, then add in your onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add in your carrots, turnip, cauliflower and red pepper, and cook for another 3 -5 minutes.
  • Add in your dried spices, and mix well.  Then add in your chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil, then simmer mixture on low for about 15 minutes or so until veggies are just tender.
  • Add in your chickpeas and your swiss chard, cover with lid, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve stew along side lamb kofta over couscous, rice, or on their own with a side of grilled pita bread!
Ingredients (for the lamb kofta)
  • 1 lb ground lamb meat
  • ½ an onion (small) chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Combine all ingredients with the exception of the cilantro in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, then add in the cilantro leaves.  Form into approximately 2” patties (they will shrink as they cook).
  • Line a baking tray with foil, then place a cooking rack (a baking rack you would use to cool cookies is totally fine so long as yours is metal and therefore oven safe) on top of it.  Place the lamb patties on the rack.
  • Place rack in the oven and set oven to broil on high.  Cooke patties for 7 – 10 minutes on each side, until crispy and brown.

I know this recipe seems more involved than some of the ones I normally post, but I promise it’s not actually that hard.  It just looks like it requires a lot of ingredients, but many of them are spices (the bulk of which are used in both the stew and the kofta) and fresh veggies, meaning this isn’t all that expensive to pull together and the prep is pretty painless – just about 15 minutes of chopping for the stew.  It’s absolutely possible to pull this together during the week for a dinner, and it’ll probably take you 40 minutes to do so.  My plan of attack was to do the stew first, and then while it was simmering, I prepared the lamb kofta.  The best thing is that the stew makes a ton (we got at least 8 servings out of it), so it’s easy to reheat for subsequent dinners. I have to say that I’m always a little leery of adding cinnamon into savory dishes because I find it has a very strong and distinct flavor, but the spices really blend together very nicely in this dish.  Nothing felt out of place, and I was happy to eat this stew on it’s own when the lamb kofta ran out.  I know we’re swiftly leaving stew season behind, but because this one is all veggies and doesn’t have a thick, rich sauce, it’s actually quite refreshing to eat and won’t leave you feeling bogged down. We love lamb, but you could easily substitute a different ground meat instead such as chicken, turkey, veal, or ground beef instead if baby sheep aren't your thing.  Mmmm... baby sheep.  Seriously though, I know some people think lamb has a strong or gamey taste, but I found the combination of spices really complemented the meat without overpowering it.  I will probably try some variant on this once our complex opens up the pool area, because I think grilled lamb burgers are divine! I haven’t figured out how to make that perfect kofta from New York but I did find a recipe I know I’ll be making again and again in the future so I guess we’ll call this one a win.  But don’t think that means my search for that elusive recipe is at an end!  Also, must learn how to make their addictively delicious white not-quite-tzatziki sauce!


  1. 03/25/2010

    We just happen to have some lamb in the freezer, and I think it would be great to use for this! It sounds like a great recipe, and I am glad that the stew was able to stretch so far for you. I also must add that the pictures you always provide with your recipes are absolutely divine! Often, when I take a picture of a dish I create, it doesn’t look as appetizing as the dish does at table. Great post! I will have to see if I can replicate your success with this one!

  2. 03/25/2010

    My. Oh my. I love this recipe. It looks so good!

  3. 03/26/2010

    This looks and sounds delicious. I’m definitely saving this recipe! You rock Steph.

  4. 03/26/2010

    @ zibilee: The photography is all Tony’s work. I know from my own experiences behind the lens that taking such attractive photos takes real skill!
    @ Nicole: The pics don’t do it justice (good as they are!)! It tasted even better!
    @ Laura: You better start documenting all these recipes for when you start cooking in the kitchen of YOUR NEW CONDO!!! 😀

Leave a Reply