Kofte: the Turkish meatballs.

When we talk about roasted ground beef, as a Middle Eastern recipe, everyone thinks of Kebabs. And it is certainly one of the most famous Turkish recipes, but it is not the only one. The Kofte or Kofta are minced lamb meatballs, seasoned with spices and vegetables. Kofte can be prepared roasted, but it is usually fried. For those who have not tried kofte, we can say that a kofte is a mix between meatballs and hamburgers. Unlike meatballs that are served dipped in tomato sauce, koftes are served over a thin layer of yogurt sauce with pita bread, cilantro, hummus, and salad. If you want you can check our hummus recipe. It is important to note that, due to the geographical location of the Middle East, many of his recipes are a fusion between Mediterranean food and Arabic food. The shape of the kofte is reminiscent of meatballs, but the technique of seasoning and cooking them is more similar to that of hamburgers. The history of the kofte is very old. Many civilizations ate these balls of minced meat, and that is how the word kofta is found in many cultures. In Arabic it is kefta or Kofta or also kufta '(كفته). For the Turks it is köfte. Although they have small variations, it is the same dish, from Morocco to Pakistan. Ground meat, minced and joined by the use of ingredients such as egg, rice, or some type of flour.

How to make the Kofte?

Minced beef or lamb is used to prepare the kofte. This meat is mixed with many spices, ground bread, tomato paste, or egg. You can add herbs or finely cut vegetables. The meat can also be mixed with rice, onions, or chopped tomatoes to obtain a soft and moldable dough. The koftes are then formed and cooked. In addition to the sphere shape, there are also other formats for kofte: skewered or grilled like hamburgers. These meatballs can then be cooked fried, broiled, steamed, or baked. In our recipe we will use the round shape, served over a yogurt sauce.

 

Kofte Variations

In every country in the Middle East, the Kofte recipe has variations. Most of them depend on the vegetables and condiments available in each region. Also, the religious and cultural differences of the peoples are obvious in this dish. Some variations of kofte, particularly in India, include the total substitution of vegetables for meat to make them a vegetarian dish, obeying their religion. Another variation of this dish, widely used by Catholic communities, is to prepare kofta with pork. Also, in countries with long coasts, kofte is prepared from fish. The traditional way that kofte is served is over yogurt sauce or stuck on a skewer.

Yogurt sauce

The best side dish for Koftes is the yogurt sauce. This delicious white sauce, best known for being a companion to kebabs, is prepared by mixing: natural yogurt, a little mayonnaise, garlic, lemon, and parsley. You can also add cumin in grains, pepper and if you can get it, zumake. All this is beaten in the blender, and stored in the refrigerator for half an hour before serving. Now, without further delay, let's move on to the recipe then.

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