• Moroccan Kefta with Herb Yogurt Sauce


Lamb & Beef Kefta with Herb Yogurt Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

An ubiquitous street food in Morocco and the Middle East, kefta are flavorful meatballs that are simple to prepare at home. I make my version with a mix of ground lamb and beef, and tons of herbs and aromatics. Pan-fry the patties and toss them in a simple tomato sauce, then serve with lettuce wraps or warm flatbread, and my spicy herb-and-citrus-infused yogurt sauce.

Moroccan Kefta with Herb Yogurt Sauce

Servings: 6 to 8



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons mint, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Butter lettuce, for serving

Tomato Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sliced garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 2 hot green chiles, roasted and cleaned
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin


In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, lamb, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, lemon juice, parsley, mint, cumin and cilantro. Mix well to incorporate all of the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop while you make the tomato sauce.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large pan over high heat. Add the rosemary, garlic and anchovies. Sauté for 5 minutes and then add the wine and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer until the liquids are reduced by 30 percent, about 15 minutes. Reserve the sauce while you make the meatballs.

Remove the beef and lamb mixture from the fridge and roll into walnut-sized balls. Press each one down to make an oblong tongue shape. Roll each one in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Place the oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Fry the patties in the oil in batches until golden brown all over, a total of about 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in the tomato sauce and serve with the yogurt sauce and butter lettuce.

Yogurt Sauce

Combine the onion and yogurt in a large bowl and reserve. Pulse the remaining ingredients in a food processor, being careful to not over-blend. Fold the two mixtures together and serve with the kefta.

Photographs by Madeleine Hill.

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