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Kafta in tomato sauce


My stomach and I... our relationship is intimate.
We get along really well by now.
"Shhhht, it's okay!"

Kafta in tomato sauce is something for the bear's appetite!
For those who don't know what kafta is: kafta is not köfte 😀
But kafta is very similar to köfte. Minced meat with onions, spices and parsley - that's kafta. The great thing about it is that it is very easy to prepare and can be done very quickly. Kafta is easy to prepare and can be stored in the fridge until needed. And you can do so many delicious things with kafta.

But kafta also tastes fantastic in a down-to-earth tomato sauce! Especially in simple dishes with few ingredients, a lot depends on the quality of the ingredients. You can make a tomato sauce or you can make an excellent tomato sauce. The ingredients can be the same, but the quality is completely different. In Lebanon, there are many dishes that consist of very few ingredients, just take baba ghanoush or hummus. And the better the quality of the ingredients, the better the food tastes - but you probably already know that.

Since the meatballs are cooked in the sauce, you save a lot of fat - but not the taste. The flavours of the tomato sauce and the kafta balls then blend and harmonise very well with each other. And when you serve the dish steaming, there's a little surprise on top!

While the meatballs are cooking in the tomato sauce, I quickly mix a simple cream of tahini, water and lemon juice and chop some fresh parsley and mint. Both are then added as toppings when serving.
I always eat pita bread as a side dish, sometimes also rice. My mother used to bake the pita bread herself - so in addition to this delicious dish, I also had the most delicious pita bread in the world, which I always used to wipe the plate completely clean with.

And my stomach... it was happy and always is when there is kafta with tomato sauce.

Recipe for Kafta in tomato sauce

You need kafta. The basic recipe can be found here.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • Kafta

Tomato sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500ml strained tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme (rubbed or fresh)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • (1 medium hot chilli if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50ml water
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Tahini cream

  • 10 tbsp tahini
  • 10 tbsp. water
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 small handful of fresh mint

As a side dish

  • Pita bread, rice or fresh baguette


  1. Prepare the kafta according to the recipe and form into dumplings - set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. (If necessary, fry the chilli too).
  3. When the onions are translucent, add the tomato paste and fry briefly.
  4. Now deglaze everything with water and stir in the strained tomatoes.
  5. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, cinnamon and thyme and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and add the raw kafta balls to the sauce.
  7. Put the lid on the pot and let the kafta balls cook in the sauce for about 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, mix the tahini, lemon juice, salt and water to make a creamy sauce.
  9. Chop the parsley and mint and mix them together.
  10. Once the kafta balls are cooked in the sauce, divide them with sauce among the plates.
  11. Put a good dollop of the creamy tahini sauce on each plate and top everything with the chopped herbs.

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  1. Hello Rafik! Again, it was my lovely wife who found this recipe on your blog, which we love so much. We made the meatballs with beef and I must admit that we 'saved' the tahini cream. But not the Lebanese pita bread to go with it :-). This recipe, like the others we have made from your blog, was wonderful! The cinnamon adds another special touch!

    1. Hello Michi,
      Many love. Thanks for your great feedback! I'm very pleased that you're cooking your way through my blog 🙂

      Kind regards

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