Köfte recipe

Made 14 – enough for two people as the meat part of a meal.

For the köfte 200 grams of köftelik kiyma (dana) – this is rib meat (somewhere between veal and beef) minced whilst you wait – fairly finely,
3 teeth of garlic (in Turkish a clove of garlic is a tooth – I think that’s a better description), grated
A slice and a bit of yesterday’s bread, crusts off, soaked in a little bottled water then squeezed out and crumbled
About a tsp of jeera, about a tsp of paprika, about half a tsp pul biber, a small handful of finely chopped parsley, a few sprigs of finely chopped dill and/or some dried mint.

For cooking:  Some oil (or whatever you want to fry them in) A small stick of cinnamon, couple of cloves, couple of bayleaves, one or two big black cardamom pods if you can get them, otherwise you can substitute green ones or simply do without. About 3 desert spoons of yoghurt diluted with some warm water.

The spicing of köfte is entirely a matter of taste.  Unless you’re trying to replicate something authentic.  I find it more interesting to mix and match, but you could use about a teaspoon and a bit of köfte spice.  I can’t find a readily mixed köfte spice I really like here – we used to get one in Istanbul and we got attached to it.  (I use the local köfte spice with chicken, but that’s a different recipe!).

Put everything for the köfte  into a bowl and mix it with your hands. Squeeze it. Let the warmth of your hands soften the fat in the meat so that it all goes into an even paste. This is a tactile process. It end up pasty and stick together of its own accord.  I’ve never added any liquid.  Leave it lightly pressed together in the bowl in the fridge for a while for the flavours to combine.

With damp hands (it sticks less to your hands if you damp them) break off bits about the size of a small walnut and roll into a ball with your hands then flatten them slightly. I got 14 from 200 gm kiyma.  I keep them on a piece of foil or baking paper till I’m ready to use them.  I guess I could use a plate but the foil idea saves washing up.   In a frying pan heat up some oil (I used Riviera oil  which is a mix of virgin and refined olive oil), you could use ghee or a light olive oil or any oil you would normally use to sautee food. Put in the whole spices and let them flavour the oil for a few seconds. Then put in the köfte. Cook them for about two minutes on each side (so they firm up and go brown) then pour over the diluted yoghurt.   Turn the heat down. Cook for 10-15 mins, turning the Köfte half way through and basting with the yoghurt if needed. It may well start to spit before the end – this is usually a sign that it’s ready to eat!


4 responses to “Köfte recipe

  1. This sounds like a really good recipe…going to give it a try. Thanks x

  2. I use milk for soaking the bread. It give more taste and texture.

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