Coconut Beef Kofte

This recipe is based on Turkish kebabs, traditionally made with ground lamb and spices. We include coconut in ours, which act almost as breadcrumbs, lending a bit of (gluten-free!) texture and sweetness that is surprising but delicious. These can be served on their own, with condiments and salad, or as a sandwich.

If you plan to make the yogurt sauce (tzatziki), make sure to strain your yogurt the night before, or buy thick greek yogurt.


1 lb ground beef or mutton

1/2 cup ground coconut

1 small onion, grated on a box grater

1 clove garlic grated on a microplane or small holes of a box grater

1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

A pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste

Zest of one lemon (if you don’t have a lemon, just skip it!)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Work with your hands to mix, then form into patties. If you’d like to grill the kofte, form into oval shapes, then wrap these around skewers. Or grill the patties. They can really be cooked in whatever suits you. we picked small patties because they were easy and quick to cook inour skillet for dinner.

Heat a cast iron skillet or medium heat, or heat your grill. When hot, cook the kofte until done in the center, 2-3 minutes per side depending on size.

Serve with tzaziki and sides of your choice. Pita or flatbread sandwiches would be a good choice here.

This recipe was adapted from the recipe for Coconut Kofte by Melissa Clark in her excellent book, How To Dinner.

Cucumber Kohlrabi Tzatziki Sauce

If you don’t have kohlrabi, just use more cucumber.

1 cucumber, peeled

1 kohlrabi, peeled


1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane or the small holes in a box grater

1/2 cup fresh mint

1/2 cup fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups plain Greek yogurt or strained yogurt

Freshly ground black pepper


To strain the yogurt, place full fat plain yogurt in a colander lined with cheesecloth and let drain in your fridge overnight. Use the strained yogurt like greek yogurt, and the whey to soak grains, inoculate ferments or for drinking. Otherwise, use store-bought Greek yogurt for this recipe.

Grate the cucumber and kohlrabi in the large holes of a box grater and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let it sit for a while.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients, plus 1 teaspoon of salt. With your hands, squeeze the kohlrabi and cucumber to remove all the liquid. Add to the yogurt sauce and stir together. Adjust for seasonings. Enjoy.