Turkey Kofta and Curried Couscous with Zucchini

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Several months ago I made turkey kofta and curried couscous with zucchini, but never got around to telling you about it. The recipes were tasty, though, so I didn’t forget about them. I finally got around to making both dishes again this week.

Both the kofta and the couscous are very easy to make. I liked the couscous recipe because it tells me how to spruce up one of the easiest and fastest cooking side dishes possible. Kofta are basically Middle Eastern meatballs. One of my close friends in college was Egyptian-American, and we made kofta for dinner when she visited me after we graduated. Those were made with hamburger, and I don’t remember much about them except that I enjoyed them. Since she introduced me to kofta, I thought of her both times I made this dish.


Turkey Kofta with Curried Couscous and Zucchini (adapted from Eating Well)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice (or more, to taste)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt (plus more to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
1 carrot, grated

1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko (which I used)
5 tbsp cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne

To make couscous: Heat oil in large saucepan. Saute onion and zucchini, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften. The recipe says this takes 3 minutes, but could take more if you overcrowd your pan as I did. (The recipe also says to remove the vegetables from the pan and add them back later, but I was lazy and skipped this.) Add remaining ingredients, except couscous and carrot. Bring to a boil, then add couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add grated carrot and fluff with a fork.

For kofta: Gently knead together all ingredients. Do not overwork, or your kofta will be tough. Form mixture into 8 patties. You can form them into ovals and place them on skewers, or you can leave them as patties. Place on a broiler sheet and broil for 4 minutes on each side.

This was a surprisingly tasty meal. The couscous with zucchini was very easy to make, and the curry powder and lime juice gave it a lot of flavor. I would probably add even more lime juice next time. Overall, the recipe was a nice way to season couscous. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the kofta. I enjoyed the cilantro and onion in it, and the allspice added a nice flavor. I was also happy that the recipe didn’t take egg (like some meatballs do). Neither Alex nor I was that impressed with the tahini yogurt that the original recipe called for, so I skipped it the second time around. I’m not a big fan of yogurt sauces, but if you like yogurt sauce, this might be a nice variation. This was a great weeknight meal and made good leftovers. It’s a healthy meal, and definitely worth making.

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