What is the unique aspect of Afghan Kofta that sets it apart from other dishes?Afghan Kofta is a beloved dish in Afghan cuisine, known for its rich flavors and hearty appeal.

What sets Afghan Kofta apart is its unique blend of spices and the way the meat is prepared. The kofta, or meatballs, are typically made with ground meat (often lamb or beef) mixed with grated onion, garlic, and a variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. This mixture is then shaped into small balls and either fried or simmered in a flavorful sauce. The sauce is often tomato-based, with additional spices and sometimes yogurt or cream to add richness. The combination of tender meatballs and savory sauce makes Afghan Kofta a favorite among locals and a must-try for anyone exploring Afghan cuisine.


For the Kofta (Meatballs):

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water

For Garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro and parsley, chopped
  • Sliced lemon wedges


1- Start by making the kofta mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef or lamb with the grated onion, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.

2- With wet hands, take small portions of the kofta mixture and shape them into small, round meatballs. You can make them about the size of golf balls. Place the kofta on a tray or plate and set them aside.

3- Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

4- Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet and stir well. Then, add the ground turmeric, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes.

5- Pour in the water and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Once it's simmering, carefully add the kofta meatballs to the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the kofta simmer in the sauce for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

6- Occasionally, gently shake the skillet to ensure the kofta cook evenly and soak up the flavors of the sauce.

7- Once the kofta are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove the skillet from the heat.

8- Serve the Afghan kofta hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and parsley. You can also add lemon wedges on the side for an extra burst of flavor.

Afghan Kofta is traditionally served with rice or flatbread. Enjoy this flavorful and aromatic dish that captures the essence of Afghan cuisine.

Nutritional Values :

While I can provide approximate nutritional values for some of the ingredients in the Afghan Kofta recipe, it's important to note that the actual values may vary based on the specific brands and preparation methods you use. Here are rough estimates for the nutritional content of some key ingredients:

Ground Beef (80% lean):

4 ounces (113 grams) of ground beef typically contains approximately:

  • Calories: 287
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams

benefits: Provides high-quality protein and essential nutrients like iron and zinc.

Onion (small, grated):

1 small onion (approximately 100 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 40
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.5 grams

benefits: Adds flavor and contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic (2 cloves):

2 cloves of garlic (approximately 6 grams) contain approximately:

  • Calories: 8
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams

benefits: Boosts immunity and has antimicrobial properties.

Fresh Cilantro (1/4 cup, chopped):

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro (approximately 4 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 1
  • Protein: 0.1 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2 grams

benefits: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like calcium and potassium.

Fresh Parsley (1/4 cup, chopped):

1/4 cup of fresh parsley (approximately 4 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 1
  • Protein: 0.1 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2 grams

benefits: Contains vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons):

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (approximately 28 grams) contain approximately:

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 28 grams

benefits: Provides healthy fats and vitamin E.

Diced Tomatoes (14 oz can):

A 14 oz can of diced tomatoes typically contains approximately:

  • Calories: 70
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 grams

benefits: Rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

Please keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and the actual nutritional values can vary based on factors such as brand, variations in ingredient sizes, and cooking methods. To get the most accurate nutritional information, you may want to refer to the specific product labels and use a nutritional calculator for your recipe.


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