Algerian Kefta (Meatballs) Recipe

Background and History

Algerian Kefta, also known as Kefta Mkaouara, is a flavorful dish deeply rooted in Algerian cuisine. It embodies the rich culinary heritage of Algeria, blending indigenous Berber, Arab, and Mediterranean influences. Kefta is typically made from ground meat, usually beef or lamb, mixed with spices, herbs, and other ingredients, then shaped into small balls or patties. This dish is beloved across Algeria and often served on special occasions, family gatherings, and festive celebrations.


  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • Crusty bread or couscous for serving



In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Shaping the Meatballs

Take small portions of the meat mixture and roll them into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.

Cooking the Meatballs

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.

Making the Sauce

In the same skillet, add diced tomatoes and bell pepper slices (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Adding the Meatballs

Return the meatballs to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce. If desired, create small wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each well.


Cover the skillet and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking and the meatballs are fully cooked through.


Serve the Algerian Kefta hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro, alongside crusty bread or couscous.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)

  • Calories: 350
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 180mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 30g


  • You can customize the spices and herbs according to your taste preferences.
  • Algerian Kefta can be served with a variety of side dishes such as rice, quinoa, or roasted vegetables.
  • Leftover Kefta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Allergy Warning

This recipe contains meat (beef or lamb) and eggs. Please be cautious if you have allergies to these ingredients. Additionally, if you have allergies to specific spices or herbs, adjust the recipe according

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