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Mini Lamb Koftas with Pomegranate Molasses

Mini lamb koftas that are bursting with glorious textures and the flavour of pomegranate molasses, almonds, zaatar and dried mint.

Whether you served them as an appetizer, on a salad or stuffed in a pita or even a North African themed sub you are gonna love these tasty morsels.

Mini lamb koftas served with roasted butternut squash and zaatar giant couscous.

Minced Lamb Kofta Meatballs.

I love playing around with different ideas for meatballs, the name for me usually makes me think of spaghetti and meatballs. Probably thanks to Garfield as they certainly played no part in my food development growing up in the UK.

These spiced lamb koftas are very different though! They are a spin on my Moroccan beef meatballs and share some flavours.

They get a nutty almond flavour and all important texture from almonds.

The main flavouring elements are zaatar a glorious herb and spice mix, dried mint and a bit of chilli.

We then get a sweet and sour element from pomegranate molasses. An ingredient I adore that features in dishes as diverse as my Halloumi Salad through to the Iranian chicken stew Fesenjan.

You absolutely need these two bite morsels in your life pronto!

Close up lamb kofta served with roasted butternut squash and zaatar giant couscous.

Frequently Asked Questions.

I thought kofta came on sticks?

Not always, cooking things on sticks helps you flip them over when they are cooked under a broiler or over a barbecue. I use them for dishes like my chicken tikka kebabs to my BBQ pineapple chicken kebabs.

But these Lamb koftas of kofte are meant to be fried pretty quickly in a pan. The kebab sticks will provide no assistance and to be perfectly honest, they would get in the way.

Can I substitute pomegranate molasses for regular molasses?

No, pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice and a bit of sugar, it has a sour and slightly sweet taste. Regular molasses is the by-product of sugar refining and it has a bitter flavour.

If you cannot find it in your local supermarket it should be available from a middle eastern or even Turkish store. You can even make homemade pomegranate molasses.

Can I use beef?

Sure why not, the flavours will work just fine with beef, however avoid lean beef, no one likes dry kofta! Go for something with around 20% fat content.

Overhead mini lamb koftas served with roasted butternut squash and zaatar giant couscous.

Serving Suggestions.

I’ve left this dish deliberately open in terms of serving suggestions because it is so versatile.

I’ve served it here with some roasted butternut squash seasoned with zaatar and sumac and some pearly couscous tossed through the pan the lamb koftas were fried in.

But they are great with tabbouleh or simple buttered couscous drizzled with more pomegranate molasses.

You could thrown them in a green salad or even use my Moroccan vegetable tagine as a side for them.

But we are not done, oh no! Reduce the size of the kofta balls by half, stick them on sticks and serve them as nibbles on sticks.

And of course you can stuff them inside pita with a salad and top with tzatziki.

If you come up with any new uses shout them up in the comments and I’ll add them here!

Mini lamb koftas served with roasted butternut squash, giant couscous and chilli strips.
Yield: 2 Servings

Mini Lamb Koftas Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Mini lamb koftas are kinda meatballs in all but name, perfectly moist spiced balls of minced lamb featuring almonds, pomegranate molasses, zaatar, chilli and dried mint.


  • 325g (11.5oz) Minced Lamb
  • 100g (2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 35g (1/4 Cup) Almonds
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Dried Mint
  • 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp Zaatar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Place the onion, pomegranate molasses, garlic, pine nuts, chili flakes, and dried mint into a blender and blitz to a paste.
  2. Add this paste to the lamb and then season generously with salt and pepper and zaatar. Frying off a small patty and having a taste will help you with seasoning perfectly.
  3. Roll the mix into 10 balls, they will be around 50g in size, wet hands will help keep them smooth and stop them from sticking.
  4. Place them in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to rest. They are great left overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
  5. Heat a wide based nonstick pan over a high-medium heat and when hot add the oil.
  6. Add the koftas to the pan and sear until nicely coloured on one side, this will take 3-4 minutes.
  7. When nicely caramelised flip them over and reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 70°C or 160°F.


The internal temperature for lamb is the official recommended safe temperature for minced lamb or beef.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 664Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 884mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 46g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Beth Neels

Friday 8th of February 2019

These kofta are just bursting with flavor! I love the combinations of the mint and za'atar AND sumac! And then serving with the earthy squash and the couscous! I wish I had some right now!!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of February 2019

Thank you

Corina Blum

Friday 8th of February 2019

This recipe sounds right up my street! I love the spices you've used in the koftas and on the butternut squash too!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of February 2019

Thanks Corina

Chef Mireille

Friday 8th of February 2019

Za'atar is one of my favorite spices even if it's just on something simple like roasted potatoes. However, you made such a delicious meal and a gourmet presentation here, za'atar actually takes a backseat to all the amazing flavors that must have been present in this meal.

Brian Jones

Friday 8th of February 2019

Thank you, I like using zaatar as a seasoning in the same way as salt and pepper is used. It is not the dominant flavour but offers background notes and points of interest.

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