Classic Meatballs

Klasik köfte


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Splendidly simple and tasty, these classic köfte evoke all the flavours of the Ottoman Palace kitchens. They are best served with a salad version of cacık.


  • 8 oz/225 g minced lamb
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 1 tablespoon keçup
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon currants, soaked in water
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kırmızı biber
  • 2 slices bread, rubbed into crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • big bunch of fresh parsley and dill, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • plain flour for coating
  • sunflower oil for frying


  • In a bowl, pound the meat with the onion and garlic. Add all the other ingredients and knead well, slapping the mixture against the sides and base of the bowl. Shape the mixture into small round balls, flatten them and roll them in the flour.
  • Heat a deep layer of oil in a frying pan and brown the köfte on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lemon wedges, yogurt or cacık.