Now stay with me on this one. When made, Kefta looks atrocious and unappetizing, but it tastes and smells divine. This was one of my favorite dishes when I lived in Morocco. You can make this in one pot, the ingredients are basic in the extreme, it’s a GREAT source of protien, and – typical of all Middle Eastern food – you eat it out of one pot. The story goes that the prophet Muhammad was asked what his favorite food was. His answer was: the one with the most hands in it. So when you make Middle Eastern dishes, they should be eaten out of a common pot to appreciate the total experience.
Ease of Preparation: Easy
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Don’t skimp on the Olive Oil. Buying the cheap stuff does make a difference in taste.
- 2 Large Onions – Diced
- 6 Cloves Garlic (More or Less to Taste) – Minced
- 1 tblspn salt
- 1/4 cup Ground Ginger
- 1/3 cup Ground Cumin
- 1 Pound Ground Beef or Turkey
- 3 Eggs
- Crusty bread
Saute the Onion and Garlic in a large pot adding Ginger, Cumin, and Salt as the Onions start to become clear. I like to make this in my Dutch Oven, but any large pot will do. While the above is sauteing, roll the ground beef/turkey into small balls. By cooking the meat in balls, it is easier to pick them up when eating. We prefer chunks of meat about 1/2 an inch in size. Stir the pot gently so as to prevent breaking the meat chunks. Once the meat is fully cooked, add the eggs and stir to incorporate so that the eggs are fully spread throughout the dish as they cook. The eggs help bind the onions, garlic and beef together. The resulting dish will look disgusting, but the smell and taste are worth it. Once the eggs have cooked – 30-60 seconds – pour everything into a large serving bowl. To eat the Kefta, hold a chunk of bread in your fingers and use it to scoop/pinch the Kefta from the bowl – see picture above. This will get messy with the crumbs and pieces of Kefta that fall out on the table, but that’s part of the fun of eating out of a common bowl.
Notes from Ben: The Arabic كفتة (Kufta) actually means ground meat. If you go to the butcher and ask for kufta, you’ll get plain ground beef. The Moroccan dish – pronounced in Moroccan Arabic without the first vowel, kfta – is a regional specialty and is unique to the area.