Monday, June 10, 2013

Lebanese Cooking: Stovetop Kofta on Rice

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato ~
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you ~

Today, I was making one of my favorite Lebanese foods, stovetop Kofta, and I thought I'd share the recipe. It's delicious and fairly easy to make, once you get the hang of it.  I make it exactly as my mother-in-law taught me, who is from the Zahle region of Lebanon (Northeast near the Syrian border).

Without further ado, here we go!


1 lb. ground beef
1 bunch parsley, minced
1 onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced width-wise
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. salt (meat mixture)
1 can tomato paste
2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp. salt (water mixture)


First, prep all of your ingredients.  Mince the parsley, dice the onion, and peel and slice the potatoes.

Potatoes should be about 1/2 an inch thick.

Next, combine parsley, onions, olive oil, spices, and meat in a mixing bowl.  While you mix, prepare to fry the potatoes.  Fill a frying pot with about an inch of oil and heat on high.  Wait about 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven) for the oil to warm.  When you put a potato in and the oil boils, it's hot enough.

You can adjust the spiciness and saltiness to your liking!

When the oil is hot enough, it's time to fry those potatoes!  Drop them in, enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and fry for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.

While the potatoes are frying, put the meat mixture into a 9 inch by 13 inch METAL baking pan.  (If it's glass, it will explode!)

Press the meat into the pan with a spatula.  As the potatoes become browned, drain them of oil and then place them on top of the meat mixture in the pan.

Once all of the potatoes are fried to (near) perfection, it's time to make the tomato sauce.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine about 3/4 of a 6 oz. can of tomato paste with 2 cups of very hot water and about a Tablespoon of salt. 

Mix the ingredients until fully combined.  I have found that adding small amounts of hot water to the tomato paste and mixing makes the tomato paste easier to dissolve. 

Now, pour the sauce mixture over the meat and potatoes.  It should cover the entire thing completely, but some potatoes or onions or parsley may float to the top.

Place the dish on two burners vertically, and cook on medium heat for about 15 - 20 minutes.

While the Kofta is cooking, prepare the rice.  To feed two people for about three meals, I make 1 1/2 cups of rice.  Here's my rice recipe:

1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
3 cups of water
Dash of salt
1 Tbsp. oil

Combine all ingredients and heat on high until boiling.  When boiling, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes without opening.  Then, the rice should be perfect!  

After your 20 minutes is up, the food should be ready to go!  Serve the Kofta on top of a bed of rice with plenty of tomato sauce.  

Sahtain!  :)