Köfte (Turkish meatballs)

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Such a long time ago I know…but I had a very good reason to neglect my blog (exams, thesis etc.) but I’m back for more! 🙂 Let’s move on to our recipe. Today’s dish and the 2nd out of the 3 will be köfte. According to Wikipedia (check link below) it is believed that there are 291 different kinds of meatballs in Turkey. To be honest, I don’t know if there are that many and I haven’t tasted them all but I do know at least 15 of them. Köfte (in different spellings) is also eaten throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb. You can find them in different shapes and different tastes. It’s up to you to choose the right one to your taste. In Morocco for instance, they add spices like cinnamon and coriander to köfte (or kefta) to give it a sweet flavour. In Turkey and Greece however this is not a common thing to do because köftes are eaten more spicier. The recipe I am giving is the Turkish version, slighty adapted to my taste 🙂


  • 500 grams minced meat (lamb or beef or a mixture but I prefer beef)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 slices of old dry bread or 2 or 3  tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • Bunch of parsley (flat leave preferred)
  • 2 tomatoes or 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • half a teaspoon oregano (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili flakes
  • salt and pepper

Chop the onions and parsley fine, mince the garlic cloves, add them with the tomatoes and bread crumbs to the meat. Add your spices and beat the egg and start kneading the mixture for about 10 minutes. After kneading, leave it to rest in the fridge for about 3 hours (a day is even better). Take it out of the fridge and shape them into little (flat) balls. Place the köftes on a tray and bake them in the oven until they get brown. You can also grill them or fry them in a pan. All cooking methods are fine but I prefer the oven because it’s less greasy 🙂

Serve with Turkish bread, salad and ayran! Or with the cacik sauce 😉

Afiyet olsun!



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