Baked Kofta with Cheese is, without a doubt, my all-time favourite Middle Eastern dish. I grew up with this dish, was taught how to make this dish (thanks Mam & Dad), and now, I’m going to share how with all of you! You are welcome!
So, kofta. Yet another foreign word I know… But it’s simple enough. All ‘kofta’ means in Middle Eastern cooking (and technically Indian, and South Asian also) are minced meat, vegetable, or cheese balls. Most likely, if you have ever been to a Middle Eastern restaurant or takeaway place, and ordered kofta, they would have been served to you as more of a meatball or burger-shape patty. There as so many ways to serve and eat kofta. This recipe however, is my absolute favourite. And….I would say it’s the least labour intensive also. Perfect.
Honestly, it’s delicious and really rich in flavour.
To be honest, I prefer this dish as it is. There is always extra sauce so I’ll sometimes have a little Lebanese bread with it to dip! You can also serve it with plain rice, or Riz Bi sh’arieh (Lebanese rice with Vermicelli) or a side salad. When I made this kofta recipe a few days ago, I served it with my tangy argula, feta and sumac salad (more on that later). But realistically, you already have your macros covered from the baked kofta alone, so it’s completely up to you. P.S. Suggestions are more than welcome!
Preparing the Kofta:
I blend my vegetables in my food processor and even add the meat. However, if you don’t have a processor or prefer to do it by hand, you can. Just make sure you chop the onions, garlic and parsley very fine and use your hands to mix it all together.
Now, many variations of this dish exist. Especially when it comes to the potatoes! My mum fries the potatoes separately and adds them to the meat 5-10 minutes before the meat is cooked (as I do here). However, my boyfriend’s mum prefers to add the raw sliced potatoes to the meat and cook the entire dish together. There is no right or wrong. In the oven directly is of course healthier, but you don’t get the crispy texture from frying them separately. Your choice!
Baked Kofta with Cheese
- 1 kg minced beef or lamb
- 2 medium onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 100 g parsley stalks removed
- 2 large tomatoes
- 500 ml tomato sauce
- 6 medium potatoes
- 200 g cheese mild cheddar
- 2 tsp water
- 2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sumac
- vegetable oil for frying
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Wash the parsley and roughly chop. Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Add all to a food processor and blend until very find. Add the water to help it stick together.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add the minced meat and the salt, pepper and sumac and mix well with your hands.
- Grease a baking dish (x) with butter and evenly spread the kofta mix.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the meat mixture. Slice the tomatoes into quarter-inch circles and lay on top. Season with salt and bake in the oven for around 40 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel the potatoes and slice into quarter-inch circles. Pan-fry (only until 3/4 way cooked) in a little vegetable oil. Drain on kitchen roll.
- After the Kofta is 10 minutes away from completed (40 minutes in the oven), remove. Lay the potato slices on top. Grate cheese and cover the dish.
- Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Recommended for this Recipe:
Sumac Spice – a tangy lemony and almost fruity spice that once you try, you will be hooked!
Other recipes to try:
Did you make this recipe? Tag @pinkpeppercorncyprus on Instagram and hashtag it #pinkpeppercorncatering