In the Middle East, kofta is a food which is made by grinding meat and mixing it with an assortment of spices. The resulting seasoned meat can be shaped into meatballs or cylinders of meat which can be cooked in a wide variety of ways.

Beef and lamb are two common choices of meat for kofta, since cheap cuts of these meats can be readily obtained. Spices such as garlic, onions, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, and harissa may be added to kofta to make them savory, spicy, or even slightly sweet, depending on the region and the taste of the cook.

Once the meat mixture is made, it can be formed as desired and grilled, roasted, baked, broiled, boiled, fried, steamed, or poached. The cooked kofta are served with a wide variety of sauces ranging from cool yogurt and cucumber sauce to spicy sauces. Sides such as breads and vegetables often accompany kofta, which may be molded on sticks so that they can be eaten easily, or wrapped into various breads to make sandwiches.

There are a number of alternate names for kofta, including kofta, kufta, kafteh, keftes, cuftah, and kyuftah. This common Middle Eastern food can be found from Greece to India, as far south as Morocco and up through Eastern European countries like Romania. As a street food, kofta tends to be generally dry with mild sauce, while restaurants may serve platters of kofta in rich, liquid sauces which need to be sopped up with bread of rice.