Jordanian Kofta and Yogurt Sauce (Ιορδανικό Γιαουρτλού Kεμπάπ)
Serves 4 as a meal or more as an appetizer
Adapted from The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber
These taste best when cooked over a grill (in winter, we grill in our fireplace), but can also be made on a stovetop grill pan. To serve as an appetizer, make smaller kebabs by dividing the meat into 16 equal pieces rather than 8. Serve with Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and warm pita bread.
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 cup finely diced onion, 1/8”dice
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. freshly crushed cumin
1 tsp. chile powder, preferably Ancho
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Make the Sausage: Put all the sausage ingredients in a bowl, and knead everything together with your hands. Divide the seasoned meat into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of meat around a bamboo skewer into a long sausage shape. Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook the Kofta. (The recipe may be made ahead to this point.)
Make the Yogurt Sauce: Purée the garlic and salt with the flat of a chef’s knife or using a mortar and pestle. Mix the garlic purée with the yogurt and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Taste and add salt or the remaining lemon juice, as needed.
Cook the Sausages: Grill over a hot fire, turning regularly, and being careful not to overcook. Serve immediately, the hotter the better, with a generous dollop of Yogurt Sauce on the side.
To cook on the stove, heat a cast iron grill pan until it’s very hot, cook the sausages until they are well-browned on one side, turn them over, immediately turn down the heat, and cook until they are done on the other side. Serve immediately.