Recipe: Grilled Kofta with Zucchini Sauce (with poll)

This week we dove into a summery garden spread from Oman. Kofta are grilled hand-formed sausages enjoyed in Oman and neighboring countries. In fact, versions of kofta are enjoyed as far east as India (although these are typically served in meatball form). These Omani kofta sizzle with earthy cumin, warm flutterings of cinnamon, and are rounded out by coriander seed, fresh parsley and cilantro.

The sauce – entirely vegan, by the way – is loaded up with fresh zucchini, garlic, parlsey and such a little sprinkle of mint, noone will know what your secret ingredient is. You can make it as spicy as you’d like with red pepper flakes (or go wild with cayenne, if you must).

P.S. This sauce would be great for a variation on our vegetarian Shakshouka that we made back with Israel. Shakshouka is also enjoyed in Oman.

Recipe adapted from Laura Kelley at Silk Road Gourmet, where she journies through the cuisines, histories and cultures of the more than thirty countries that traded goods along that great lifeline of the ancient world.


For the Kofta:

1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped (about a handful)
1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tiny red onion, minced
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt/pepper to taste

For the Zucchini Sauce:

3 medium zucchinis
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large can diced tomatoes
crushed red chili, to taste
handful fresh parsley, chopped (2 Tbsp)
handful fresh mint, chopped (2 Tbsp)
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper


Head to the garden and salvage any fresh herbs you might find there. These, along with a few spices, are your ticket to Oman.

Mix the beef with the parsley, cilantro, red onion, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Knead for a few minutes, until the meat clears the sides of the bowl and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Roll the meat into 8 finger shaped Kofta. Dipping your clean fingers in a little water will help keep the meat from sticking. Cover and refrigerate until needed (at least 30 minutes for the flavors to mellow).

Meanwhile, prepare the chunky, bright zucchini sauce – an entire garden in every bite.

Fry the zucchini and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Add on the chili flakes, herbs, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.  A splash of vinegar brightens up the flavor. Simmer uncovered for just ten minutes. This is a quick sauce, perfect for August. It’s lit from within.

In the winter you could cook this at a low, slow bubble while watching the snow fall.

Grill the kofta over medium high heat…

Fill a large platter with the zucchini sauce and pile on the kofta. Garnish with more parsley and serve with rice and flatbread.

Dig in!

Enjoy the fresh flavors.

Here, Ava saved you a bite!

Enjoy by the Omani shore…

Vista of Sur, Oman. Reconstructed 16th century Portuguese forts dot the landscape. Photo by Dan Soley.

…. where the sun is bright and the smiles are easy.

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  1. This is a great vegitarian recipe sans the beef…ha ha …my mouth is watering…wish I could taste it. Bet KeithAlan likes it. Kinda reminds me of Falafel…made with chick peas.

  2. Great recipe… I love the zucchini sauce… never made anything like it before.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it Deana :) It is unusual, but simple and refreshing … perfect for the end of summer.

  3. My veggie garden was given up on several years ago because of a pesky woodchuck menace we deal with… probably a dozen of the little buggers, eating anything we try to plant. :( Luckily, my parents have a really nice garden that they share the spoils from.

  4. meganleiann says:

    I just made this tonight and it was a big hit! I doubled the recipe, hoping for lunch leftovers. However, my 5-year-old is parked next to the kofta platter, eating what’s left. Both my husband and son asked me to make it frequently!

  5. Ah! So glad I clicked on your interesting pic on Punchfork! Little handrolled sausages over that fresh sauce is perfect for a camping trip we are taking this coming week! Thank you! And I think you are right. The sauce you have here would be SO good with the shakshouka (I have tried the very recipe to which you refer!). What a great way to use left over sauce!

  6. connie munoz says:

    omg I am going to make double the batch of this, it looks awsume the flavors in recipe, look like this would come out amazing. I so cant wait to make, it looks amazing and so easy, will let you know how it turns out, im low carb and this is going to be my new go to recipe,i can see it now, thank you for sharing


  1. […] of the Silk Road Gourmet, Sasha Martin of Global Table Adventure has prepared Omani Kofta from a recipe donated by yours truly. The recipe is for sausages that can be made from beef or lamb […]

  2. […] I make this I’ll add a bit more of the herbs to the sauce. Also, I was surprised that the recipes I found called for balsamic vinegar, though Oman is a pretty international place so balsamic has […]

  3. […] by the Sudanese from our previous Global Table meals, such as ful medames (also enjoyed in Egypt), kofta, and basboosa (beloved throughout the Middle […]

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