United Arab Emirates – Kofta

by Adelina Aida

Kofta is a member of the family, Meatballs. This is a very popular dish in Asia. It is more like meatballs when cooked with grounded meat and spiced up with special Middle East herbs, vegetables. We can either put these cooked meatballs into the curry, either serve it as it is like a snack and even in breakfast. It is cooked in Rice, added into sandwiches, served as an appetizer, etc. It is a very versatile dish that can be consumed into any main dish or side snacks. This is shaped especially into balls as a KOFTA but different shapes can be made out of the same batter of meat.

There is a huge variation of the same element of the dish and included in many countries’ national cuisine. It is more specifically included in Asia, Middle east. Kofta can be made up of even vegetables like cabbage, potato, mixed vegetables, calabash, unripe bananas, etc. This dish is versatile by anything, like you can make it with anything, you can anything into it, you can serve it with any of the side dishes, etc.

This dish is popular in many countries like the given below:

  • India
  • Turkey
  • Dubai
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Middle East
  • Central Asia
  • Israel
  • Pakistan
  • Greece
  • Romania, etc.


Kofta is a member of Meat Balls and have name derived from Persian word, KUFTA. Kufta refers to as the word mean meat piece. But this word is used to call the dish that is made of grounded meat and formed into a small round ball shape.

Other names of same dish :

  • Meat balls
  • Kofta
  • Kufta
  • Kabab
  • Meat loafs


Depends on Ingredients

1. Meat Kofta

From the difference in ingredients, meat kofta is very popular especially beef koftas. This dish has so many varieties that even you can cook koftas with any meat you have in your kitchen. All you need is grounded meat with adding herbs and vegetables. But the cooking time is important for which meat you are going to cook kofta with.

Meat can be used for cooking kofta are :

  • Beef mince
  • Chicken mince
  • Mutton mince
  • Fish mince
  • Prawns mince
  • Camel meat mince


For vegetable kofta, all you need is boiled vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, peas, carrots, paneer, even eggs can be added. You have to boil vegetables, add spices into it, add some raw vegetables like cilantro, onions, green onions, etc. And then shape into a round ball, fry, and serve with complementary side items.

Vegetable used for kofta preparations like :

  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Tofu
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Corns
  • Carrots
  • Calabash
  • Spinach, etc.


One most famous stuffed koftas are cheese-filled in them. And hard-boiled eggs to be added into meatballs to make it fancy and exotic. Different kind of stuffing is added like :

  • Cheese stuffed koftas
  • Coconut stuffed
  • Eggs stuffed
  • Paneer stuffed
  • Vegetable stuffed into meat koftas.



Qofteri or Qofte are famous as snacks in Korce. It is usually served on a metal plate, with raw onions and a glass of beer. This is a very unique and amazing way to present the dish in such a manner.


This dish is cooked with pork meat, beef meat and mutton meat. It is served with :

  • Meze
  • Salad
  • Beer
  • Fries
  • Tarator dip


These are special Cigar shaped koftas served with :

  • Fries
  • Pita bread
  • Salad


These are flat patties of same ingredients are also known as CHIFTELE. They are served with :

  • Pilaf
  • Mashed potatoes


  1. Beef Mince = 500 grams
  2. Paprika = 1 teaspoon
  3. Onion chopped = 1 small
  4. Parsely = 1/2 cup
  5. Mint leaves = 1/3 cup
  6. Hung Yogurt = 1/2 cup
  7. Salt = 1 teaspoon
  8. Red chili powder = 2 tablespoons
  9. Boiled eggs = 4
  10. Cheese = 1 cup for stuffing
  11. Samuk = 2 tablespoons


  1. Take grounded beef meat, mince should be dried completely. Otherwise, the balls are not able to retain their shapes.
  2. Add chopped vegetables like onions, parsley, mint leaves into meat mince.
  3. Add all the spices into it and mix it well.
  4. Add yogurt into the meat and mix well, now the consistency of meat is towards the slimy side.
  5. Start making balls of it.
  6. Now half of balls are stuffed with cheese and other are with eggs.
  7. Fry them until they turned golden in color and tendered.
  8. Serve with fries and some sauce.
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