Project Description

Herbie’s Kitchen Middle Eastern Kofte with Tzatziki
by Kate McIntosh of

These look deceptively like meat, and are extremely healthy and tasty. This mix also freezes well, and note variations below.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes


400g pumpkin or butternut squash, roasted
1 tsp baharat Lebanese 7 spice blend (see below)
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 400ml can black beans, drained
Handful (1 cup) flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 sprigs (1/4 cup) mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
140g (1 cup) cooked brown rice
70g (1/2 cup) milled buckwheat

140g raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 2-24h
150ml water
¼ probiotic capsule
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into small dice
lemon juice and salt, to taste
1 sprig mint, roughly chopped
1 sprig dill, roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  2. For kofte, add everything except the brown rice and buckwheat to a food processor. Pulse until just combined, then in a large bowl, mix with the rice and buckwheat. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Shape the mixture around skewers and place on a lined baking tray/s. Brush with a little olive oil if desired, although not necessary.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and serve with tzatziki, a fresh tomato and sumac salad, or use in pita with hommous.

For Tzatziki: Blend soaked drained cashews with 250ml water and probiotic capsule until smooth. Refrigerate uncovered overnight, then when ready to serve mix with cucumber, mint and salt and lemon juice to taste. Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Baharat spice blend
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground cassia
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground green cardamom seed
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Combine spices and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Replace baharat spice blend with Italian herbs and the coriander and mint for fresh basil and shape into ‘meatballs’. Bake as above, then add to a tomato sauce and serve with pasta or rice.
Replace baharat spice with ras el hanout or chermoula spice blends and add 1/2 cup chopped apricots, shape into kofte or meatballs and serve with herby couscous or quinoa.