When I first ordered, Köfte, or Turkish Meatballs (Kofta) in Istanbul I was completely surprised by the flavor. They were like no other meatball that I had ever tried.
The Turkish are not afraid of using exotic spices combinations and this dish is no exception.
We found Kofte on most Turkish menus, and were told that it is often found on the dinner table in homes throughout the area. “When we don’t know what to make for dinner,” I was told by a spice vendor, “we make Köfte.”
The “Turkish Meatball Spice Mix” (a blend featuring herbs such as cumin, cinnamon and ginger) is readily available in every spice stall in the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul, but you can easily mix up a batch at home. See our recipe below.
In Istanbul the Kofte are either served as a main course with french fries, rice (or rice pilaf) and tomatoes. They are also a common item on a mezze platter (assortment of cold and hot appetizers), typically with a yogurt sauce.
See our links below for additional recipes to make your own Turkish mezze platter.
Afiyet olsun! (Bon Appetite in Turkish)
Here are some additional Turkish Recipes you might enjoy
- Makes Approximately 12 Meatballs
- 1 Pound (.45kg) Ground Beef or Lamb, or a combination of the two
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Cup (50g) Bread Crumbs
- 3 Teaspoons (6.4g) of Meatball Spice Mix, recipe below
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Parsley, minced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Small Onion, minced
- 1 Teaspoon (5.9g) Salt
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Do not over mix which will change the texture of the meat.
- Form the mixture into a flattened oval shape.
- The balls can either be grilled or fried in a pan. Cook until done all of the way through (about 5 minutes on each side).
Amount Per Serving Calories 154Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 57mgSodium 263mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 13g
- 1 Teaspoon (2.5g) each of Cumin, Coriander, Sweet Paprika and Sumac. 1 teaspoon (.26g) Dried Mint
- 1/2 Teaspoon (1.23g) each of Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Combine all of the dry spices.
This spice blend is also a commonly used in Turkish marinades and soups.
This spice combination can also be used in marinades and soups.