Chef's Recipes

Spiced chickpea kofta with yoghurt and pearl barley soup

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Spiced chickpea kofta with yoghurt and pearl barley soup

  • Serves 4
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus soaking
Spiced chickpea kofta with yoghurt and pearl barley soup
Spiced chickpea kofta with yoghurt and pearl barley soup

“Would you please ask chef Ben Arnold from the Healesville Hotel in Victoria’s Yarra Valley for the recipe for his excellent yoghurt soup with kofta?”
James Bryant, Donvale, Vic

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock (6 cups)
  • 100 gm pearl barley
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 500 gm thick Greek-style yoghurt, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: thinly sliced long red chilli and coriander
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
Spiced chickpea kofta
  • 125 gm dried chickpeas
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup each coriander and flat-leaf parsley (firmly packed)
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried mint and sumac
  • 2 tbsp cornflour


  • 1
    For spiced chickpea kofta, soak chickpeas overnight with bicarbonate of soda and 2 litres cold water in a non-reactive container in refrigerator. Drain chickpeas, rinse under cold running water, drain well, then process in a food processor with onion until finely chopped. Combine in a large bowl with herbs and spices, stir to combine, season to taste. Stir in cornflour, adding a little extra if necessary to bind, then roll into walnut-sized balls and set aside on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • 2
    Bring stock to the boil over medium heat. Add barley, lemon rind and saffron, simmer until barley is tender (20-25 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, whisk yoghurt in a large bowl until smooth. Stir cornflour and 40-50ml water in a small bowl to form a smooth paste, stir in egg, then add to yoghurt and whisk to combine. Add 100ml hot barley stock, whisk to combine, then, whisking continuously, add yoghurt mixture to barley stock. Reduce heat to low and whisk continuously until warmed through (4-5 minutes; do not boil), season to taste, keep warm.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry kofta in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (1-2 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit), drain on absorbent paper. Ladle soup into serving bowls, top with kofta, chilli and coriander, drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.


This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of .