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Chicken Kofta Recipe With a Twist

These chicken kofta (or kafta) are a type of kebab made with ground chicken and flavored with middle eastern spices. The twist is that I took some chicken seekh (or shish) kebab elements and added a few nutritious binders to make these chicken koftas less meaty and more flavorful. My favorite way to serve them is with millet and hemp seed tabbouleh, my gluten-free and lectin-free version of tabbouleh salad.

What is a chicken kofta kebab?

A chicken kofta kebab is a mixture of ground chicken, flavorful spices, and fresh herbs, made on skewers and fried, grilled, or even oven-baked. My version has some elements inspired by an Indian version, called chicken seekh kebab or chicken keema. The difference is that the latter has some binders added, and the result is less meaty. I also prefer to shallow fry them in a skillet to get the golden-brown crust which is not really possible to get in the oven.

Considering that buying pasture-raised chicken can get expensive, this is an excellent way of making 300 grams of good quality chicken go a long way. In case you don’t find pasture-raised chicken that is already ground, consider investing in a meat grinder attachment, especially if you already have a KitchenAid. My mom never buys ground meat; she always makes it at home when she needs it. If you grind the chicken at home, consider adding some fatty parts of the chicken, as the chicken mixture for this recipe shouldn’t be too lean.

Also, if you rather have access to good quality, pasture-raised turkey, you can use ground turkey instead of chicken.

Obviously, ground meat can be used to make beef or even lamb kofta kebabs. For lamb kofta kebabs, I would add parsley and mint instead of parsley and cilantro.

You will make eight big chicken kofta kebabs from this quantity, which means four portions. I love to serve them with Millet and Hemp Seed Tabbouleh. To the original recipe, add some pomegranate arils for some extra freshness, sweetness, and pop of color.

Ingredients to make chicken kofta kebab with a twist

The complete list of ingredients for these chicken kofta kebabs is:

  • Pasture-raised ground chicken
  • Fresh herbs: cilantro and parsley
  • Aromatics: ginger, garlic, shallot
  • Spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, allspice, salt, pepper
  • Binders and extras: cooked millet, hemp seeds, pasture-raised egg
  • extra virgin olive oil for the pan

How to make chicken kofta kebabs

For anything kebabs, you need some bamboo or wooden skewers. Make sure you soak them in water for a few hours before you start making your dish. Especially important if you decide to grill or oven bake them. For shallow frying them in a pan, soaking them for one hour would be enough.

I used eight 25 cm / 10″ skewers, and in order to fit four at once in my pan, I had to remove the handle, which is 4 cm. So I ended up with 21 cm / 8.2″ skewers, and they were the perfect size for eight koftas. I cooked them in two batches, four at once.

You can certainly adjust the kebab size if you have different size skewers.

  • Grate the ginger and the garlic (or mince with a garlic press).
  • Mince the parsley, cilantro, and small onion or shallot in a small food processor. if you don’t have a food processor, make sure the herbs are finely chopped and grate the onion and remove excess moisture.
  • Beat the egg in a small bowl.
  • Add the ground chicken to a big mixing bowl, and add the cooked millet, hemp seeds, the parsley, cilantro and onion mixture and sprinkle on all the spices.
  • Add half of the egg and combine everything with a fork (not the hands), until the ingredients are well mixed, but don’t overmix. If you feel like there is not enough moisture, you can add a little bit more of the egg. I level the mixture in the bowl, and I approximately split the mixture into eight equal parts.
  • Remove the skewers from the water. Take one of the mixture parts, and with your wet hand, gently press the meat into a cylindrical shape around the skewer, leaving about 1” on both ends.
  • Prepare a large frying pan. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat (as much as to cover the pan but not too much), and when the pan and oil are hot, add four of the skewers (or how many fits into you pan). I could cook them in two batches, four at a time.
  • Fry for 2 minutes on one side, carefully turn them on another side with your fingers, fry for about two more minutes or until golden brown, turn again. There will be three sides. When they are golden brown all around, take them out on a plate and continue with the next batch.
  • I love to serve them with millet and hemp seeds tabbouleh salad (see recipe in the post above) and with a wedge of lime.
  • You can serve them straight from the skewers, or you can gently remove them from the skewers, by gently pushing on one of the ends and sliding them down.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or even frozen and can be used for sandwiches, salads, or lunch boxes.
Chicken kofta looks delicious

I hope you enjoy my own version of the chicken kofta recipe. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

These chicken kafta (or kofta) are a type of kebab made with ground chicken and flavored with middle eastern spices. The twist is that I took some elements of the chicken seekh (or shish) kebab and added a few nutritious binders to make these chicken koftas less meaty and more flavorful. My favorite way to serve them is with millet and hemp seed tabbouleh.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams of ground chicken
  • 1 thumb size ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 4 tablespoons cooked millet
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/2 - 2/3 egg (measured after beaten)
  • extra virgin olive oil for the pan (to cover the bottom of your pan)

Instructions

1

Prepare the bamboo skewers in advance, by soaking them in water. I used eight 25 cm / 10" skewers, and in order to fit four at once in my pan, I had to remove the handle which is 4 cm. So I ended up with 21 cm / 8.2" skewers and they were the perfect size for eight koftas. I cooked them in two batches.

2

Grate the ginger and the garlic (or mince with a garlic press).

3

Mince the parsley, cilantro, and small onion or shallot in a small food processor.

4

Beat the egg in a small bowl.

5

Add the ground chicken to a big mixing bowl, and add the cooked millet, hemp seeds, the parsley, cilantro and onion mixture and sprinkle on all the spices.

6

Add half of the egg and combine everything with a fork (not the hands), until the ingredients are well mixed, but don't overmix. If you feel like there is not enough moisture, you can add a little bit more of the egg. I level the mixture in the bowl and I approximately split the mixture into 8 equal parts.

7

Remove the skewers from the water. Take one of the mixture parts, and with your wet hand gently press the meat into a cylindrical shape around the skewer, leaving about 1'' on both ends.

8

Prepare a large frying pan. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat (as much as to cover the pan but not too much) and when the pan and oil are hot, add four of the skewers (or how many fits into you pan). I could cook them in two batches, four at a time.

9

Fry for 2 minutes on one side, carefully turn them on another side with your fingers, fry for about two more minutes or until golden brown, turn again. There will be three sides. When they are golden brown all around, take them out on a plate and continue with the next batch.

10

I love to serve them with millet and hemp seeds tabbouleh salad (see recipe in the post above) and with a wedge of lime.

11

You can serve them straight from the skewers, or you can gently remove them from the skewers, by gently pushing on one of the ends and sliding them down.

12

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or even frozen and can be used for sandwiches, salads, or lunch boxes.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    May 5, 2022 at 5:23 am

    Hello 🙂

    For the egg, is it measured in tablespoons or cups?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 5, 2022 at 5:27 am

      Hi Alexandra. You have to use 2/3 of one egg. Not tablespoons or cups. The thing is, one egg would be too much for this quantity. So you have to beat one egg but don’t add it all to the mixture. Just a little bit more than 1/2 an egg. That’s why I say 2/3 egg (measured after beaten). I’ll try to make that clear.

  • Reply
    Sherry
    May 5, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t eat meat and was wondering if I can sub mushrooms for the chicken? If this is would work is there anything else that will need to be adjusted?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 6, 2022 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Sherry, that would be hard to answer without trying. Unfortunately, mushrooms don’t agree with me that much, especially if I had to use them in such a large quantity. I suspect there will be so much moisture from the mushrooms; there have to be some other fillers and binders to hold that together. Wrapping that mixture around a skewer would be probably very difficult. If you make it, please let us know, in case there are other people wanting the same thing. xx

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