What’s cooking today: Moroccan-spiced beef koftas

What’s cooking today: Moroccan-spiced beef koftas
Tony Jackman’s Moroccan-spiced beef koftas (meatballs on skewers). (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Unlike your standard round meatball, whether small or large, these are encased around skewers. It makes for a great snack when you have friends around, or a flavourful supper.

Moroccan spices are glorious and distinctive, one of the best flavour mixes anywhere and so quick and easy to mix if you have a well-stocked spice cupboard. You can fry these in a shallow pan, as I did, or grill them over hot coals.

This mixture cannot be mushy or it will not pack around the skewers and hold. The quantities given below are exactly what I used, and they held perfectly. Just handle them with care when grilling or frying them. 


700 g beef mince

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp chilli powder

A pinch of ground cloves

½ tsp white pepper

1 tsp salt or more to taste

3 Tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro

1 extra large egg, beaten

Olive oil, as needed

Coriander leaves for garnish


Mix all the spices together in a large bowl, including salt and pepper. Add the beef mince and chopped coriander and work the spice mixture into it thoroughly. Work in the beaten egg, still using your hands.

Divide the mixture into seven or eight equal parts. Roll each into a ball between your palms and pack it around a skewer, rolling it to extend into an oblong shape as in the photo. Refrigerate them for at least half an hour.

Heat a little oil in a shallow pan (if too deep the skewers might be difficult to manage). Fry on a moderate heat, turning carefully and often to ensure even cooking and browning all over. Garnish with coriander. DM/TGIFood

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

SUBSCRIBE: There’s much more from Tony Jackman and his food writing colleagues in his weekly TGIFood newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Saturday. Subscribe here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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