About the recipe
Growing up, kefta was a classic in my house, especially during barbecue season. Kefta literally means “ground meat” in Moroccan Arabic. As a dish, it is a meat kebab, usually using ground beef, veal or lamb, that is flavoured with onion, cumin, coriander and parsley before being shaped into kabobs on a skewer. They are basically a Moroccan ground meat sausage-shaped meatball! This is my take on my mom’s classic recipe, so I hope you try it out and enjoy it served with a fresh green salad and turmeric rice, or in a sandwich. And If you don’t have a barbecue, you can always cook these in the oven.Jump to Recipe
Moroccan kefta kabobs are not your typical meatballs. You will find no egg or breadcrumbs in there. However, you will find some onions, herbs and spices.
Moroccan kefta kabobs are made of:
- Ground meat: For this recipe, I used veal, but you could use beef or lamb.
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh cilantro
- Spices: cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cayenne
The first thing to do to make these kabobs is to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. That will prevent them from burning on the grill.
Then, grate or finely chop the onion. I don’t like biting into onion chunks in my kefta, but I love the flavour it gives the meat. To save some time and tears, you could also use a food processor to thinly chop the onion.
You also want to finely chop your parsley and cilantro.
Then, you put all your ingredients in a bowl and mix them by hand. When I was a kid, I remember my mother telling me this was the most important part. It’s important for all the spices and herbs to be incorporated to the meat.
Once that is done, you can let the meal rest until your skewers are ready to be used.
Then, you can shape your meat in a sausage-like log, and mold it around a skewer.
To bake, put it on the barbecue until the kabobs are browned. You could also cook them in the oven. See how in the recipe card below.Jump to Recipe
Here are some variations to this recipe:
- Use any other type of ground meat (beef, lamb, chicken and even turkey will do!)
- Shape the kefta like patties, or don’t use skewers and still shape them into logs
- Top the kabobs with some mint
- Add more spices, to your liking
I served my kabobs with a nice green salad, turmeric rice, hummus and a pita bread. You could also put them in a sandwich.
Moroccan kefta kabobs
- 500 g ground veal
- 1 onion grated
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Knead by hand to incorporate well, for about 2 minutes.
- Let the meat rest about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, let the wooden skewers soak in water.
- Shape the meat into logs, and mold them onto the skewers. I measured about ¼ cup of meat per skewer.
- Cook the kefta kabobs on a hot grill on medium heat, until brown and cooked through. If you don't own a barbecue, you can bake them in the oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.