For the tzatziki (makes 1 1/4 cups):
1 medium English cucumber
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 to 3 medium lemons
1/2 clove garlic
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the kofta:
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 pound ground beef (75% lean/25% fat)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 small pinch red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
Naan or pita, for serving
Make the tzatziki: Peel and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Place in a medium bowl, toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely zest the lemons on a Microplane until you have 1 tablespoon. Transfer to a medium bowl. Juice half of a lemon and add 1 tablespoon of the juice to the bowl. Grate the garlic on the fine holes of the box grater or Microplane and add to the bowl of lemon zest.
Finely chop the dill and and mint and add to the bowl of lemon zest. Add the yogurt, oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and mix to combine.
Using your hands, squeeze the excess liquid out of the cucumber. (This is an important step, otherwise you will end up with watery tzatziki.) Add the cucumber to the yogurt mixture and mix to combine. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Make the kofta while the tzatziki is chilling.
For the kofta: Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater and place 1/4 cup of it in a large bowl. Grate the ginger on a Microplane and place 1 tablespoon of it in the bowl. Grate the garlic on the Microplane and add it the bowl. Finely chop the parsley and mint and add to the bowl.
Add the ground beef, salt, and spices and mix quickly and gently with your hands to combine (do not overwork the meat or it will be tough). Form into 30 (2-inch balls) and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat a grill pan lightly coated with vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the grill pan will cool down, the meatballs won't brown properly, and they will stick and break. Grill, turning occasionally, until brown all over and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove to a serving platter.
To finish, lightly grill