Rick Stein’s lamb and pistachio köfte recipe

Feel like cooking a-la Rick Stein? Dive into this easy lamb and pistachio köfte recipe

General info

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Half tsp fennel seeds
  • Half tsp coriander seeds
  • 1.2kg minced lamb
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 10g or 2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 75g pistachios, roughly crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 turns black peppermill
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Plain flour to bind, if necessary
  • Olive oil, for brushing


  1. For these you need a flat metal skewer, the sort of thing you’re bound to buy in a shop somewhere in Turkey on holiday and then find again a year or two later languishing in the back of the garage. You need the surface area to enable you to turn them. If you use a thin, round skewer, the meat will fall off. This is what I would call the epicentre of Turkish cuisine.
  2. Köfte are popular all the way from Greece to Iran and as far as India, but the combination of fennel, coriander and cumin with minced lamb, pistachio nuts and chilli flakes sums up Turkey.
  3. Crush the spice seeds with a pestle and mortar, then mix all the ingredients together. If the mixture is too wet, add a little plain flour.
  4. Form with wet hands into sausage shapes on metal skewers. Brush with a little oil.
  5. Cook on a charcoal braai or under a hot grill for about 8 minutes, turning regularly, until cooked through.

Serve with pita bread, cacık and salad.

Rick Stein TV series

Taken from Rick Stein’s From Venice to Istanbul published by BBC Books, price  R535, photographer James Murphy


Send this to a friend