Kofta in Pita with Cucumbers in Sesame Sauce

DSC_0665RECIPE #494, DAY #677


ORIGINAL RECIPE: Kofta in Pita Pockets with Cucumber and Tomato Salad” from Weber’s Way to Grill by James Purviance*

TIMING: 30-40 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Not hard, as long as you can work your grill

TOOLS: Grill, grill spatula, a couple mixing bowls, platters/plates, and other normal kitchen things


HEALTH: This is a pretty fair dinner entrée. Made from ground beef and bread, you wouldn’t want to eat it every day, but it does contain protein, raw veggies, grain, and even some bonus probiotics.

DSC_0664EXPERIENCE: I knew what to expect, but this version turned out a little different. Still reminiscent of a ground beef version of falafel, it also has this bitter, saucy edge to it. I had to modify it a little to make it make more sense to me.

NOTES: You really should serve this with French fries. It’s what they would do in Israel.

I would go for a kosher dill with this, but pickled radishes would also be wonderful. Maybe both, and some deep red, Middle Eastern hot sauce.


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, 2 tablespoons minced mint, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. To the sauce, add 1 diced cucumber, 1 pint quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, and 1/8 cup minced red onion. Toss and set aside, possibly covered in the fridge.
  3. Preheat your grill.
  4. In a mixing bowl, place 1 ½ pounds ground beef, ½ cup minced parsley, 3 pressed cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. Work with your hands just until spices are evenly dispersed.
  5. Form meat into 6 oblong, ¾ inch thick, hamburger patties with a slight dent in the middle. Set aside on a plate and brush lightly with olive oil. Wait until your grill is ready.
  6. Grill over direct high heat, about 4 minutes per side, until medium. Remove to a platter.
  7. Meanwhile, sprinkle 6 pitas with water and wrap in foil. Place on the grill over indirect high heat, for 5 minutes. Then open up the foil and let each pita get just a little char.
  8. Cut pitas in half and serve right away with the kofta, the cucumbers in sauce, and pickle slices.


Serve with French fries, still hot from frying, and salted. Mango nectar would round it all out.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: You could re-heat your patty (although it would be drier and more rubbery), then place in fresh pita with the sauce (which you have kept in the fridge). Pretty decent leftovers. You could also break up the meat and nestle it with the cucumber sauce on a bed of lettuce. With the pickles.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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