This favorite of street stalls, simple cafés, and roadside stops is ideal for a casual meal
for friends. Serve with a selection of fresh and cooked salads, such as Cucumbers in
Sweet Marinade with Oregano (page 99) and Chilled Sweet Butternut Squash Salad
with Cinnamon (page 108). Calculate three brochettes per person.
Many Moroccan butchers sell kefta already seasoned with their own special blend of
herbs and spices. To the standards—paprika, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, and cilantro—
some include coriander seeds or mace and, in places like Azrou in the Middle Atlas,
fresh mint.
11⁄2 lb/680 g ground beef or lamb or a mix
of the two (see Note)
1 medium red onion, finely grated
1⁄4 cup/10 g loosely packed finely chopped
fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 cup/10 g loosely packed finely chopped
fresh cilantro
Heaped 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
Generous 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground mace or 1⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg
Generous 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red
pepper flakes
Olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, blend the meat, onion,
parsley, cilantro, mint (if using), paprika, cumin,
cinnamon, mace, and cayenne. Season with salt.
Unless the meat is quite fatty, work in a few
drops of olive oil.
Take an egg-size handful of the mixture and
press it around the middle of a skewer. Place
on a clean, flat work surface and roll it lightly
with the palms of your hands to form an even
“sausage” 6 to 8 in/15 to 20 cm long. Pinch down
both ends around the skewer. Gently set on a
platter, and repeat with the remaining mixture.
If using a grill pan or griddle, lightly oil and
heat over high heat. If using a barbecue, prepare
a fire and heat until the coals are glowing. If using
a broiler, preheat the broiler.
Cook the brochettes, nudging them from
time to time with the help of a spatula in order to
cook evenly on all sides, until the meat is cooked
through and firm to touch, about 10 minutes.
Serve hot.
note: The meat should have a bit of fat. If, once
ground, it feels a bit dry, a few drops of olive oil will
help moisten it. Have the butcher grind the meat
twice. Some Moroccans blend in fat from around
the kidney of a lamb, or, for its rich flavor, the
kidney itself.