Fire up the BBQ this weekend and make these tasty Middle Eastern koftas – just like meatballs but grilled on a skewer. Instead of the typical rice or bulgur, plantain is added to the meat mixture. Serve with a creamy cinnamon-spiced tomato sauce.

Makes 6. Prep Time: 25 minutes. Cook Time: 25 minutes


1 can (410g) diced tomatoes

4 McCormick® Cinnamon Quills

Tomato Yoghurt Sauce:

1 cup plain whole milk Greek-style yogurt

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Sea Salt, finely ground

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Black Pepper

Lamb and Plantain Koftas:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup finely chopped ripe plantain (or a green banana)

250g lamb mince

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

4 teaspoons McCormick® Parsley Flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Garlic Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Onion Powder

1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Sea Salt, finely chopped

12 wooden skewers (12cm)


1. Place tomatoes and cinnamon quills in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 15 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup. Cool completely. Remove cinnamon sticks. Reserve 1/4 cup tomato mixture for the koftas.

2. For the Tomato Yoghurt Sauce, place remaining tomato mixture, yogurt and seasonings in small food processor. Cover. Process until desired texture. Spoon sauce in serving bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. For the Lamb and Plantain Koftas, heat oil in small frying pan pan Frying pan on medium-high heat. Add plantain; cook and stir 3 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cool. Mix lamb, plantains, reserved 1/4 cup tomato mixture, red onion, bread crumbs and seasonings in large bowl until well blended. Divide lamb mixture into 12 portions. Form each portion into a 6cm long roll. Carefully slide a wooden skewer through the center of each roll.

4. Grill over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes per side or until koftas are cooked through and browned. Serve with Tomato Yoghurt Sauce.

Test Kitchen Tip: Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning.

Plantains are available at Asian grocery stores.

What are you cooking this weekend?