Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
These are the well-known Turkish Kofta, delicious little meat balls or patties. You can make them with beef, but lamb is traditional and makes them very special.
- 1 cup fine fresh breadcrumb
- 1 lb lean ground lamb
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Make the bread crumbs by breaking up 2 slices of stale but not dried out whole wheat bread into the bowl of a food processor.
- Whizz until finely crumbed.
- Add the ground lamb and the egg, and process until blended.
- Add the spices, garlic and parsley.
- Process the meat well to achieve a fine texture.
- Roll the mixture into small meatballs (I use a melonballer) or finger shaped patties using dampened hands.
- You may cook them at once, or refrigerate the mixture for several hours.
- (If your meat is very fresh, you can divide it in half and wrap part well in plastic for the next day's meal.) Heat the oil in a heavy skillet, and fry the balls or patties until cooked through and evenly browned.
- The meatballs should be stirred several times, the patties turned once.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon to drain.
- Serve the meatballs hot or at room temperature as an appetizer.
- Lovely with a yogurt or tahini sauce, on a bed of rice or in a pita.
these are really good and a nice change from the usual. i made these into patties and served them in pitas with tzatziki sauce. i served them with baked french fries which i seasoned with cumin. nice week night dinner.
I lived in Turkey for several years and this recipe comes as close to the best koftes I ever had there. They are very good grilled and served with other meats (chicken kebabs, lamb chops) as part of a "mixed grill" along with the yogurt/cucumber/garlic sauces, a shepherd's salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives with lemon/olive oil dressing) and some raki (like ouzo) for good measure. These are always a huge hit in my house!
We just got back from England where we had these meatballs in a Turkish restaurant. I loved them and couldn't wait to get back home so I could try to make them myself. These are every bit as good as the ones we ate while we were away. I cooked mine on a charcoal grill and that added another flavor dimension.