Koftas, or Turkish lamb kebabs, are a perfect opportunity to try Alberta’s excellent lamb and use some of the delicious mint that is plentiful at this time of year.


Serves 4


450 g ground lamb or beef

½ small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, softly crushed and finely chopped

Pinch cayenne

¾ tsp ground cumin

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

½ cup packed mint, finely chopped

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

½ tsp salt and pepper, or to taste


  1. Mix the ingredients together, then pat and shape the ground lamb (or beef) into a sausage shape about 12 cm long and 3-4 cm thick.
  2. Next, insert an oiled skewer through the middle length of the kebab, end to end. On a well oiled grill, barbecue for 8 minutes, or to your satisfaction.
  3. Serve with the tzatziki, in pita bread if you wish.


A mint and yogurt sauce is the perfect accompaniment to these koftas, but is also a versatile sauce to have available to use as a salad dressing, with meat, or just enjoyed as a dip. You can even add two cups of cool vegetable stock and voila – you have a lovely cold Mint and Yogurt Soup.



1½ cups (360 mL) yogurt

1½ cups mint leaves

1 medium cucumber, or four small ones, coarsely chopped

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

¼ cup of pine nuts (optional)

½ tsp ground cumin

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

To taste salt and pepper


  1. For a smooth sauce, combine everything into a food processor or a blender: the yogurt, mint leaves, cucumber, lemon, garlic, pine nuts, cumin, salt and pepper, and the olive oil. Blend until smooth.
  2. For a sauce with a little more texture, finely chop everything and mix it in a large bowl. It's more time consuming, but the texture is wonderfully chewy and the bits and pieces are still recognizable.

A salad and a beer make this the perfect summer dish.


Pin It on Pinterest