I just returned from a trip to Egypt where one of the delights was the seasoning in the foods. In the markets there are wonderful spice stores with heaping piles of all sorts of inspiring smells. So tonight I decided to make an old standby, meatballs, with some of those tantalizing flavors. I looked-up a recipe for kofta kebab with the plan of just using the spices and not making the meatballs on a stick recipe.

The following ingredients were in a Food Network recipe:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck or lamb
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • To be served with tzatziki (yogurt, spices and cucumbers) and pita bread
I like to make meatballs with a mixture of ground turkey and ground meat. I try to stay away from onions so I just put in a little onion powder. I don’t have any allspice and thought that it had anise, which I don’t like, so I just skipped it. Afterwards I looked it up and found that I could have substituted a little more cinnamon and some ground cloves (which I do like) , but alas, that’s what happens when you’re too lazy or in a hurry. I did have fresh parsley – seemingly the only herb that lives in my garden. I also added in some bread crumbs and an egg for binding.

Kofta kebab is to be grilled, but I just baked my little meatballs for 15 minutes at 350°. I made my own tzatziki and served it with a rice pilaf (flavored with some saffron that I bought in Egypt).

Next, dried apricots with chicken.

Happy Cooking