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  • Writer's pictureNava

Isay kofta, you say kebab.

I say kofta, you say kebab. but let’s not call the whole thing off... This is the best homemade kebab you’ll ever taste and it’s cooked in the oven! You don’t need to stand at the stove and turn them over and worry about burning them or wonder if they are cooked through. You just put them in the oven, take them out after 10 minutes and serve them hot.

Pastry option

If you choose to wrap them in pastry, then you leave them in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden (there are photos on my website demonstrating how to wrap the Kebab). I have given you two options because I know not everyone will want to use the pastry. We love pastry in my home. If we could wrap pastry in pastry, we would! There is something about the crispy golden layer of pastry embracing the tender and juicy meat, which makes your mouth water. The flavour is pure middle east, the fresh herbs (especially mint) add freshness and the aromatic spices bring so much flavour that it really makes your taste buds sing. In fact, I think I heard mine warble, “Love, love me do”.

To skewer or not to skewer?

You can make the kebab without the skewer and you have a meal for the whole family in 20 minutes from start to finish. If you want the skewers it’s another five minutes. If you want to impress with pastry it’s another 15-20minutes, Yes, I even timed it for you.

So, when you make it, promise to give me feedback. I guarantee you, it won’t disappoint.

Before we begin. Tips for the best kofta!

  1. Use good quality beef with 20-25% fat to keep the kebabs moist and tender.

  2. Kebabs always taste best when served fresh.

  3. If you make them early keep them in a container with sliced bread on the bottom to soak the juices. Make sure the container is sealed with a lid.

  4. When reheating the kebabs place them on a plate and cover them with a wet paper towel. The moisture created by the steam from the paper will keep them moist.

  5. The quantities and choice spices used in this recipe were picked by me including the fresh herbs. Adjust according to your taste.


500g mince meat needs to be 20-25%fat makes 12 -14 koftas

1 large onion grated and drained of any juice

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon all spice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons chopped coriander

1 ½ tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint

2 eggs + an egg for egg wash

3-4 square puff pastries cut into 4 squares

12-14 skewers


Preheat the oven to 200C Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and if you have time cover and chill in the refrigerator for approximately an hour to give the flavours time to blend.

Take some ground meat and make 12 -14 even size balls then start to roll each one into a sausage between your hands.

thread a skewer through the sausage. Then press the meat into the skewer to secure the meat.

Continue until you have used up all the meat

If you find that the meat is sticking to your hand, Just have a bowl of water handy and dip your hand in the water every now and then.

Place the kebabs on a flat oven proof tray lined with baking paper and cook for 10 minutes

Don’t be alarmed if the kebab releases liquid, (it will harden with the heat) you can separate the liquid from the kebab with a knife.

Serve with yoghurt or tahini sauce. you can find the recipes under the heading spreads and dips.

Method for wrapping kebab in pastry

Take out puff pastry to thaw but don’t let it get soft ­– it’s easier to work with the pastry if it’s still cold, but not frozen.

Cut pastry into 4 squares (See photo)

Slice the 4 squares of pastry into strips, see photo.

Place kebab in the centre of the sliced pastry. (see photo)

Pick up the end of one strip and fold it over the kebab.(see photo)

Do the exact same thing with the strip on the other side so it just laps over the end of the first strip. (see photo)

Keep doing this with each adjacent strip, moving from left to right, enclosing the kebab in the overlapping strips. If the strips are too long just tuck them underneath. Sounds a bit complicated but the pictures show you how simple it really is.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Using a fork mix egg in a small bowl and with a basting brush, brush the egg all over the pastry. Place the kebab covered pastry on the tray and cook in the oven for 30 -35 minutes depending on your oven.

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