Ramadan Stories From The Kitchen: Mouth-watering lamb koftes

Ramadan Stories From The Kitchen: Spice up your iftar table with these mouth-watering lamb koftes
3 min read
27 April, 2021
A hearty meal: In the second part of our Ramadan Stories From The Kitchen series, Ilhan Abdi shares her lush lamb kofte recipe, guaranteed to be a family Iftar favourite.
With Ramadan here it's officially that time of the year where we indulge in our favourite meals and treats. I know it's very easy to coin many recipes as one's favourite but I have to admit that the lamb kofte burger reigns over many recipes for me, and it all stems from my childhood.

I was raised eating a lot of lamb, particularly during Ramadan, and small finger foods were ever present at my mother's iftar table. And so it was only natural that I extended the same love for lamb to my own home. 

Iftar isn't just a standard meal that I'd otherwise enjoy on a regular day, for me and I'm sure for many others, it's a rather special meal.

It encompasses a variety of options that are not usually enjoyed during the rest of the year.

Put simply, they're dishes that bring about joy when it is time to break your fast, and that is exactly what these kofte burgers are – pure joy. They are small bursts of delicious flavour that take me right back to my childhood... So blissful!

  That is exactly what these kofte burgers are – pure joy. They are small bursts of delicious flavour that take me right back to my childhood  

I may have slightly altered the original recipe that I once enjoyed so much (shh don't tell my mum) but that's what I love so much about cooking. It allows you to take old, traditional recipes and make them your own, allowing you to have that nostalgic feel but with your own twist. 

I also love that this recipe can be created in one bowl and the ingredients are regular household items that most people will have and are easily sourced.

We'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't love a good burger, but these are made even more special with their heightened flavour extra juiciness.

Read also: Twist up your iftar with a shawarma braided pastry

These kofte burgers will be the talk of the iftar table. The best part is that you can enjoy them however you please. I absolutely love stuffing them into some hot pitta bread, with spinach and tzatziki, but I also enjoy eating them with a side of Somali rice.

The options are endless but however you have them I'm sure you'll want more...



500g lamb, minced 
Handful of chopped parsley and mint
1 large egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp tamarind paste
Any neutral frying oil


Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix really well. (You may need to use your hands).

Then slightly wet your palms (this will make it easier to handle the meat) and start creating small burgers. 

The mixture should make between 6-8. At this point you can refrigerate them for 15 minutes to help them set slightly. 

Heat up some oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot add the burgers to the oil.

Cook until brown on both sides and cooked through. Should be about 4-5 minutes on each side.

Remove and place on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil and they are ready to be enjoyed! 

Ilhan Abdi is a British chef and YouTuber of Somali descent. 

Follow her on Instagram: @ilhanm.a