Ladies’ Thighs

Kadınbudu Köfte

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

This classic Ottoman palace dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make. The palace ladies were not skinny supermodels, either. I learned this recipe from the conductor Cem Mansur, who cooked it for me at his beautiful house in Ortakoy.


  • onion, finely chopped 1
  • olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • minced lamb 450 g/1 lb
  • basmati rice, cooked, a handful
  • salt
  • cumin, ground 1 tsp
  • dried thyme 1 tsp or fresh
  • thyme a sprig
  • parsley, finely chopped, a bunch
  • pepper
  • flour 2 tsp
  • egg, beaten 1
  • light sunflower or rapeseed oil


  • Sweat the onion with olive oil until it begins to colour, then raise to a high heat and turn in half the minced lamb. When the lamb is browned and dry, mix in the cooked rice.
  • Turn the mixture into a bowl, add the remaining raw lamb, and stir it up with a hefty pinch of salt, the ground cumin and thyme, parsley and some fresh pepper.
  • When everything is well mixed together roll little meatballs, about the size of an apricot, between your hands. Make them slightly oval, and slightly flat.
  • Roll in plain flour, dip in a bowl of beaten egg and fry them in sunflower oil at a high heat for 5 minutes on each side.

Yashim would serve them with a chickpea pilaf and a green salad, with a wedge of lemon. You should do the same – or make them really small and have them as meze, or snack, with drinks. Instantly you are in the seraglio.…