I remember many years ago walking into the workshop of a car repair garage in Glasgow in Scotland.

The garage was owned by an Indian family and I happened to walk in at lunchtime. They had a tiny barbecue burning in a metal bucket with a basic grid over the top. One of the mechanics was sitting with a bowl of a meat mince mixture and was forming Kofta balls and threading them onto skewers. Wow! I thought. As a great fan of street food I was amazed that someone could do this for lunch at their place of work. I was even more delighted when they invited me to sit down and take lunch with them. They were absolutely delicious; as good as any I’ve tasted in restaurants and at stalls. These are the things that food memories are made of.

I went home determined to be able to recreate these koftas myself. This is my version and I sincerely apologise to the garage owners and the cook involved if I haven’t quite recreated your Koftas.


Lamb Kofta with Garlic and Mint Sauce

Lamb is ideal on the barbecue and forming it into Koftas is an ideal way to cook it. You will end up with succulent and tasty kebabs.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people


  • 500 g lamb mince
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients

  • 250 ml greek or natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves


  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Use your hands and press the mixture together firmly as you go to help it bind.
  • Take small pieces about the size of a table tennis ball and with wet hands form into a ball then into an oval shape.
  • Thread onto skewers (remember to pre-soak them if you are using wooden or bamboo ones) and place on the heated barbecue.
  • Cook for around 10 minutes turning regularly until nicely browned and cooked through.
  • To make the sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until required.
  • Serve the koftas warm on a tortilla wrap or in a pitta bread with salad and drizzled with the garlic and mint sauce.
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Koftas can sometimes be quite difficult to keep in one piece on the barbecue. Too much fat can cause them to fall apart and yet mince that is too lean with have little flavour. The secret is to store the mince and/or kebabs in the fridge to keep the meat cold and let them cook as far through as you can before turning them. Oil the grill before use to help stop them sticking.
Keyword coriander, garlic, lamb mince, Meats, mint, olive oil, steak mince, turmeric, yogurt