To call kofta ‘meatballs’ is a bit of misnomer, as they are oblong and are threaded lengthways onto flat skewers for braaiing. Metal skewers work best for kofta, as bamboo skewers may be too thin and flimsy to support them. Try this yummy recipe and serve the Moroccan kebabs as an extra on Heritage Day




For the kofta


  • 700–800g lean beef or lamb mince
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley or coriander leaves
  • 2 Thai chilli peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1T crushed garlic
  • 1T paprika
  • 2t ground cumin
  • 1½t coarse sea salt
  • 1t ground ginger
  • 1t ground coriander
  • ½t ground cinnamon


For the couscous


  • 1T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into 1.5cm dice
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾t coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking couscous


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2T finely chopped fresh coriander or Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges




1. In a large bowl, combine the kofta ingredients, blending well with a fork. (You can finely chop the onion, chillies, garlic and herbs in a food processor instead, and stir in the remaining ingredients with a fork.) With wet hands, form 12 oblong patties of equal size, each about 10 cm long. Thread three kofta lengthways onto each skewer, pressing firmly to adhere to the skewers. Refrigerate the kebabs until ready to braai.
2. Prepare the braai for direct cooking over medium-high heat 200°–260°C.
3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the red pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and let stand until the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, cover the saucepan again and set aside to keep warm.
4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Generously brush the kofta all over with oil. Braai the kebabs over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the kofta are nicely charred on the outside and the centres are still slightly pink, 8–10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the braai.
5. Divide the couscous evenly among four plates. Slide three kofta onto each portion of couscous and scatter the coriander on top. Serve warm with the lemon wedges.


This recipe serves four people