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Kefta: An Easy Moroccan Meatball Recipe

Updated on November 17, 2015
RhondaAlbom profile image

Rhonda is an award-winning travel writer/photographer at AlbomAdventures. Based in New Zealand she has visited 54 countries on 6 continents.

Kefta on the grill.
Kefta on the grill. | Source

Remembering the Kefta Recipe

Kefta in tajine, sandwiches or just on the plate, no matter how it was prepared, it was a family favorite during our month long visit to Morocco. When we stayed with a Berber family a few hours outside of Marrakesh, we helped out in the kitchen.

The first thing we discovered was that recipes were not written. We had to remember the kefta recipe. And we did, but not exactly.

Looking it up in books didn't help as Kefta is Moroccan or middle eastern meatballs made from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Every family's recipe will be a bit different. Nearly all will contain meat (a combination of beef, lamb, chicken or turkey) salt, ground cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chopped onion and chopped coriander or parsley. Ground pepper, olive oil or another fat and garlic are also found in some recipes, but not in ours.

Once home, we made our favorite meatballs, measuring our spices and writing them down. We have been through countless kefta recipe renditions before matching the flavors in our memory. Then we found a way to cut down on the fat. Finally we are ready to share our recipe with the world.

Cooking in a Moroccan Kitchen

Source

Sitting Side by Side with a Berber Family in Morocco

We felt honored to be invited into a family home and allowed to cook alongside such talented women.

Our Kefta Recipe

Easy to follow step by step visual instructions just below the recipe.
Easy to follow step by step visual instructions just below the recipe. | Source

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 min. prep plus 20 min. wait

Total Time: 40-45 minutes

Serves: Serves 4-6

Kefta Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg mince meat**
  • 75 grams animal fat (optional)
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • **the meat can be any combination of beef, lamb, chicken or turkey. (we prefer all beef)

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion very fine and add to minced (ground) meat** along with all other ingredients.
  2. Mix thoroughly using either a spoon or your hands
  3. Let sit for 20 minutes minimum (ok to leave it like this in the refrigerator for up to a day).
  4. Form into small balls (2-3 cm diameter) or elongated sausages about 5 cm long.
  5. Cook on a well oiled grill or skewered over an open flame until meat is cooked (5-10 minutes). Do not ovecook.
5 stars from 1 rating of "Healthy" Moroccan Kefta Recipe

Have You Tried Kefta Before? (Moroccan Meatballs)

Have You Tried Kefta Before? (Moroccan Meatballs)

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Do You Prefer Visual Instruction?

Follow the step by step photos below to see how our kefta recipe turns out.

Step 1: Gather and chop the ingredients

We have chopped the onion and gathered the rest of the ingredients
We have chopped the onion and gathered the rest of the ingredients | Source

Step 2: Mix the ingredients

It seems best to use your (clean) hand to mix the ingredients.
It seems best to use your (clean) hand to mix the ingredients. | Source

Plan Ahead: A Tip to Make This Kefta Recipe Even Easier

At this point in the preparation, you need to let the meat mixture sit for at least 20 minutes. However, a bit of planning ahead and you can even make it the day before. After it sits for 20 minutes, loosely cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator. You can keep it for as long as the meat is good, so check your meat date before you begin.

You could also store them after cooked, but they are better served hot. By storing at this point you only have to cook one time.

Step 3: Let it Sit: Step 4: Roll into balls

Here are our kefta meatballs ready to be cooked.
Here are our kefta meatballs ready to be cooked. | Source

Step 5: Cook on Well Oiled Grill or BBQ

We used the grill plate on the barbeque, as clean up is easier (and we like to BBQ). Hubby managed the grill.
We used the grill plate on the barbeque, as clean up is easier (and we like to BBQ). Hubby managed the grill. | Source

Our Finished Kefta to be Served with Toothpicks

Our completed kefta meatballs. We took these to a potluck dinner along with a box of toothpicks. They were a big hit.
Our completed kefta meatballs. We took these to a potluck dinner along with a box of toothpicks. They were a big hit. | Source

You Finished the Kefta Recipe, Now What? - A few Kefta serving suggestions

  1. At a pot luck or buffet table with toothpicks
  2. With a sweet chutney dipping sauce
  3. In a roll up loaded with vegetables and hummus.
  4. In a hot sandwich with or without melted cheese
  5. As the main course with rice and a vegetable
  6. In a tagine with eggs

Are You Going to Try This Kefta Recipe?

Are You Going to Try This Kefta Recipe?

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More Great Moroccan Recipes

Tagines and Couscous: Delicious recipes for Moroccan one-pot cooking
Tagines and Couscous: Delicious recipes for Moroccan one-pot cooking

The recipes here sound wonderful. The frustration to some readers is the joy to others - a traditional recipe with terms like a pinch or a sprig, rather than an exact amount for the spices. This is my husbands favorite way to cook.

 

© 2012 Rhonda Albom

Tell Me What You Think of This Kefta Recipe? - All Comments Welcome

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    • RhondaAlbom profile image
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      Rhonda Albom 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Don't forget to come back and let us know if you love them as much as we do.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      I'm going to try these and let you know what I think of them - although I already know I'm going to love them they look delicious! Thanks for sharing you tips.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Albom 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @BodyHairRemoval: Wait to you try it. It is delicious.

    • BodyHairRemoval profile image

      BodyHairRemoval 2 years ago

      This looks very delicious!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Super yummy! Your lens was featured on our NEW Tumblr page today too!

      http://whats-cooking-at-squidoo.tumblr.com/

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      OH wow, this is something I haven't tried before.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      They look so tasty!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 3 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Can't wait to try this. We made Moroccan Lamb a few weeks ago and it was so good.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Congrats on a well-deserved LOTD. The photos are the highlight of this recipe

    • profile image

      pinkhoodie 4 years ago

      I tried this kefta recipe and its great!

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 4 years ago

      Wow, the pictures make my mouth water!

    • profile image

      grebe 4 years ago

      Great Lens. I love Mediterranean recipes, and this is going straight into my collection

    • profile image

      cleaningangels 4 years ago

      looks delicious!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congratulations.

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! What a great way to present a recipe. I enjoyed everything about it.

      Angel Blessings!!

    • anatpenini profile image

      anatpenini 4 years ago

      i like your style of cooking

    • profile image

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Well, not something I would try but I will check out more of your recopies. note: I am a vegetarian. :-)

    • GreenerDays profile image

      GreenerDays 4 years ago

      Nice lens. Looks like a very tempting recipe to try!

    • profile image

      SpiritualSquid 4 years ago

      congratulations!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 4 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Congratulations on Lens of The Day and these sound wonderful. I love meatballs of all kinds, and Kefta are found in various forms in Greece, Turkey and India too. Always tasty and always different, no matter where you go. I think that's one of the joys of eating something like this, unlike say McDonalds where it's always the same. What's the fun in that?

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE Moroccan food! And kufta is one of the yummiest.. I also love any kind of tajine, and cous cous is my FAVE carb!!!! :) Blessings to this amazing lens!!!!!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!!!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your LotD.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 4 years ago from UK

      Huge congratulations on LOTD!! Well deserved for an interesting and detailed page on your kefta recipe.

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Well done on being awarded LOTD. Through this lens I also found lots of your other great lenses too and have really enjoyed going through them all. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks like a very interesting meal. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • SpannerMontanna profile image

      Neil Spencer 4 years ago from uk

      great lens :-)

    • profile image

      applejacking 4 years ago

      Such delicious food and congrats for LOTD crown

    • BlueDahlia33 profile image

      Emily 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!! Nice lens, sounds delicious.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 4 years ago

      Ohhhhh - wish I'd read this before making tonight's burgers! What a great seasoning mix. Congrats on the LotD. :)

    • kcsantos profile image

      kcsantos 4 years ago

      Congrats on LoTD! Great lens. Thank you

    • profile image

      10kaday 4 years ago

      Good looking lense healthy eating isn't the only part of a healthy life though you should exercise to help maintain your health. Could you check out my lense and offer me any suggestions on how I can improve it thanks. http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-lose-weight-the-easy...

    • Rodaussie profile image

      Rodaussie 4 years ago

      well done LotD

    • toshia lm profile image

      toshia lm 4 years ago

      thank you for the lovely lens.

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      It sounds delicious and healthy. I look forward to making it with grassfed meat. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Onlinemum3 profile image

      Onlinemum3 4 years ago

      Great lens. They look so good! Congrats on LOTD.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Well done on LOTD and your purple star. Sounds yum

    • andreycosmin profile image

      andreycosmin 4 years ago

      Nice lens thank you

    • greentiger11 profile image

      greentiger11 4 years ago

      I have to try out those meatballs. Thanks and Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It's much like the Indian version called Khofta, or Kabob. The recipe is close although most family cooks make their own adjustments. Like you said, no recipe is written and just like our traditional American regular family recipes, it is all in our heads. I learned to cook many Indian dishes this way as well and have had to work with my daughter by cooking a few times with her because she wanted them written down.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      This Kefta recipe sounds wonderful! Congratulations on LotD!!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      I've never tried Moroccan Kefta, but I think I would like to. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • skhdesigns lm profile image

      skhdesigns lm 4 years ago

      Great lens! Can't wait to try the recipe and to look at your other lenses!

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 4 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      This is pretty cool. Like your lens. I tried Moroccan food this summer in Sacramento, CA. It was experience all the foods with our fingers. It was fun.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Congrats on LOTD, you have put together a great page here. These are not my thing as I don't eat meat, but for those who do, they would no doubt go down very well!

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Actually it does sound good!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      ClaudiuApetrei 4 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I would love to try Kefta. I would love to try a camel burger as well (I didn't know that people ate camel!). It sounds like you had a great month in Morocco. Glad to see your lens receive LOTD. Well deserved!

    • profile image

      ruaridhmcdonald 4 years ago

      Nice LOTD. Looking forward to trying this recipe in the summer.

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