Fast Recipes

Beef koftas with green couscous and pistachio nuts

If you don't believe a hearty Middle Eastern meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes, you haven't met these beef koftas.

By Max Adey
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Cooking these koftas under the grill means minimal clean-up, or barbecue them for a touch more smokiness.


  • ½ large red onion
  • 750 gm minced beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tsp ras el hanout (see note)
  • 175 gm broccolini (about 1 bunch)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Finely chopped pistachio nuts, Greek-style yoghurt and lemon wedges, to serve
Green couscous
  • 180 gm instant couscous
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) coarsely chopped herbs, such as mint, coriander and parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp harissa


  • 1
    Finely chop onion in a food processor. Add beef, garlic and ras el hanout, season, and process to a paste (1 minute). With wet hands, roll evenly into 12 small sausages, and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    For green couscous, place couscous in a bowl, add 375ml boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and stand until liquid is absorbed (4-5 minutes). Fluff up with a fork, add remaining ingredients and season to taste.
  • 3
    Heat oven grill to high. Drizzle broccolini and koftas with oil, season to taste and grill, turning occasionally, until broccolini is tender and koftas are browned and cooked to your liking (5-6 minutes for medium). Rest koftas for 2-3 minutes.
  • 4
    Chop broccolini and toss with couscous, season to taste, transfer to a platter and top with koftas, extra herbs and pistachios. Serve with yoghurt and lemon wedges.


Ras el hanout, a North African spice blend, is available from select supermarkets and delicatessens, and online at

  • undefined: Max Adey