spiced lamb kofta over white bean puree

Lamb kofta are Turkish-inspired meatballs that are incredibly easy to make. You can skewer the meatballs and grill over open flame, or bake in the oven and the outcome is equally delicious. I paired the meatballs with a cannelini bean puree, yogurt sauce and fresh mint. The recipe calls for a number of different spices, but at some specialty spice stores, you can find a Middle Eastern blend that may suffice as a replacement for all the individual spices. I keep a spice blend called Baharat in our pantry, which is commonly a blend of allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika - perfect for seasoning lamb, chicken, beef, and pureed beans or eggplant. This dish is delicious when paired with a medium to full-bodied red wine like a Malbec, Syrah, or Cabernet.


  • Ground lamb (1 pound)

  • Fresh minced garlic (4 teaspoons total; 2 teaspoons for meatballs, 2 teaspoons for bean puree)

  • Fresh minced ginger (1 teaspoon)

  • Ground sea salt (2 teaspoons total; 1 teaspoon for meatballs, 1 teaspoon for bean puree)

  • Fresh parsley (1/2 cup, chopped)

  • White onion (1/2 cup, diced)

  • Ground coriander (1 teaspoon)

  • Ground cumin (1 teaspoon)

  • Cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon)

  • Ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Ground allspice (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Cannelini beans (2 cups)

  • Lemon juice (2 teaspoons)

  • Ground sumac (1 teaspoon)

  • Olive oil (2 teaspoons)

  • Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)

  • Water (2 teaspoons)

  • Fresh mint (1/2 cup, chopped into thin strips)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Unwrap the ground lamb and place in a food processor (or use your hands in a large mixing bowl if you don't have a food processor).

  3. Add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, minced ginger, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, parsley, white onion, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper. Pulse the food processor until the mixture is evenly blended.

  4. Using a spatula, transfer the meat blend to a large mixing bowl. 

  5. Place tin foil on an oven-safe baking tray. Using your hands or two small spoons, form ground meat into small meatballs and evenly space the meatballs on the baking tray.

  6. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, or until fragrant. There should be no more pink meat on the inside.

  7. While the meatballs are baking, puree the cannelini beans, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and sumac in the food processor. Stream in olive oil through the top of the food processor until puree is smooth.

  8. Transfer puree to a shallow casserole dish. The bean puree will be room temperature.

  9. Once meatballs have finished baking, transfer using tongs to the casserole dish, nesting the meatballs in the bean puree. 

  10. In a small separate bowl, whisk yogurt and water until smooth and drizzle over the top of the meatballs. Top with fresh mint.