Cookery School

Spiced lamb koftas with minted yoghurt recipe

Let Richard Corrigan guide you through how to make kofta then get the barbie going

Richard: "Every country has its own mince dish, and this is Turkey’s. It’s a very simple technique and quick to make, but it’s all in the taste. Toasting the spices first brings out an intense, warm flavour that goes well with the cool cucumber and yoghurt. A shoulder of lamb, minced by your butcher, is the best meat to use for this dish – and it’s great value."

Serves 4


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the minted yoghurt

  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • ½ cucumber, grated then placed in a tea towel and squeezed to remove any liquid
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Soak 8 wooden kebab skewers in water so they don’t burn when you cook them.

  2. Put the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a small dry frying pan without any oil and toast for 3 minutes over a medium heat, then remove from the heat and crush them in a pestle and mortar.

  3. Place the minced lamb in a large bowl and add the crushed cumin and coriander seeds, the chilli and garlic. Mix with your hands to work all the aromatics into the meat. Lastly stir in the fresh coriander, season with salt and pepper and mix again.

  4. Divide the lamb mixture into 8 balls and roll each ball between your hands to form a tube shape. Thread a tube on to each skewer and brush with the oil.

  5. Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat and cook the koftas on it for 3–4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

  6. Meanwhile place the yoghurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice and ground cumin in a medium-sized bowl and stir well.

  7. To serve, place the koftas on a large serving plate with the minted yoghurt and lemon wedges on the side.

Book cover

Recipes extracted from 'Cookery School', brought to you by Channel 4 with recipes by Richard Corrigan. Published on the 3rd March (Penguin HB, £20)

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Cookery School

Last Broadcast: Thursday 14 April 2.10PM
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