Turkish-Cypriot Cuisine
North Cyprus  

Meat based dishes

Köfte (Turkish meatballs) 

Köfte (Turkish meatballs) These appetising, walnut-shaped morsels are always part of the Turkish mezze. 

They are best served hot, but are also quite good at room temperature and also ideal for a picnic. 

In Turkey or Cyprus minced lamb is used, but beef or a mixture of both will do.

  Preparation time
  • 20 minutes 
  • Serves: 4-6
  • 2 medium-size slices of crustless stale bread, soaked briefly in water 
  • 500 g (1 lb) minced lamb or beef 
  • 1 medium-size onion, grated thickly 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, or 1 tablespoon dried mint 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley 
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed 
  • 1 egg - salt and black pepper
For frying
  • 75 g (3 oz) plain flour

  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) vegetable oil

  1. Squeeze out excess water from the soaked bread, leaving it quite dry. 
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the Köfte in a bowl and mix well. 
  3. Make walnut-shaped balls and keep them covered until they are to be eaten. 
  4. Then roll them lightly in flour and fry in hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. 
  5. They can be shallow -or deep- fried.  

  • Vegetarian dishes have been marked with sign
  • Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
  • Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.
  • Jemal, H., Cyprus Today, various.

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