Lamb kofta with pistachios with tahini yoghurt sauce

Lamb Kofta with Pistachios

Lamb Kofta with Pistachios is a fresh take on the more traditional kofta recipes that use pine nuts.  Like most middle-eastern dishes, koftas pack a complex flavour punch. Ours is no exception! We’ve developed a unique spice blend including cumin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and ground black pepper.

Serve Lamb Kofta with …

lamb kofta with pistachios served with chopped salad

There are almost as many ways to serve koftas as there are kofta spice blends! Whichever way we serve our kofta, we nearly always include a tahini yoghurt sauce. It’s  tangy, salty and creamy with that delicious sesame flavour that comes from the tahini. Here are are some of our favourite ways to serve lamb kofta with pistachios:

  • with fattoush
  • with Israeli salad
  • rolled up in flatbread with tahini yoghurt sauce and a herby salad
  • on a bed of basmati rice with salad
  • as part of a mezze platter with tahini yoghurt sauce for dipping
  • add leftovers to a sandwich with feta and salad
  • with couscous or quinoa and salad

Tips for Making Lamb Kofta with Pistachios

mise en place for lamb kofta with pistachios

Koftas can be made up to a day ahead of when you plan to serve them. Once you have combined the ingredients, roll the mixture into balls or torpedo shapes – the latter is more traditional. Place them on a plate, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate.

lamb kofta with pistachios uncooked

We usually brown our koftas in a hot frying pan and finish them in the oven. Ensure the outside of each kofta is nice and brown before removing them from the pan. If you prefer, you can shape your koftas around a skewer and cook them on the BBQ/grill. This gives them extra flavour!

lamb kofta with pistachios cooked


If you don’t have pistachios, you can use pine nuts, chopped blanched almonds, macadamias or a mixture. Avoid strongly flavoured nuts such as hazelnuts.

If you’re not a coriander/cilantro fan, swap the coriander for fresh chopped parsley.

If you find lamb too rich on its own, use a mixture of lamb and beef.

Happy cooking

Lamb Koftas with Pistachios

Delicious middle-eastern style meatballs, richly spiced and full of flavour. Can be served in flatbread, with salad, on a bed of rice, or as part of a mezze platter.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern
Keyword: BBQ, easy, flexible, mezze, weeknight dinner
Servings: 4 people as a main


  • Food processor optional; allows you to chop onion superfine


  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 1 small onion very finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 30 g raw, unsalted pistachios roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander/cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cooking/Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • Sunflower or canola oil for cooking

To serve

  • Extra pistachios, chopped parsley or coriander, and sumac or paprika.
  • Tahini-yoghurt sauce


  • preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the kofta ingredients with your hands. Take care not to overwork the mixture or it will become tough.
  • Shape mixture into balls or torpedo shapes, pressing firmly to hold the mixture together. Place the koftas on a plate or baking-paper lined tray, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them. they will keep for 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan and brown kofta in batches. Sear each kofta in hot oil, turning regularly until the outside is nicely browned – about 5 minutes per batch.
  • Place kofta on an oven tray and cook in the preheated oven – 2 minutes for medium, 4 minutes for well done.
  • Serve with tahini-yoghurt sauce scattered with extra pistachios, parsley or coriander leaves, and sprinkled with sumac or paprika.

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