Turks are especially fond of meatballs (köfte)  which come in a variety of forms.

The most basic type of meatball is ızgara köfte (grilled meatballs, sometimes called cızbız köfte), round pats of minced lamb and breadcrumbs occasionally mixed with beef, seasoned with black and red pepper and cumin, and bound with egg yolk, that are grilled and served, as ever, with vast quantities of bread. The most popular accompaniments are a simple bowl of piyaz (haricot beans mixed with finely chopped onion, tomato and parsley and sometimes served with olives and slices of hard-boiled egg), a green salad, and a glass of ayran.

Tekirdağ köfte are thickened with breadcrumbs, although to most palates there’s little to distinguish them from other köftes.

İnegöl köfte are meatballs that have been kneaded in sodium bicarbonate and then baked (although they tend to look boiled).

Iskofte2Islama köfte (wet meatballs) may not sound very appetising but are popular in the Adapazarı area and turn out to be delicious. Calf bones are boiled up and slices of bread are dunked in the resulting stew, then seasoned and grilled. The meatballs are served on the resulting toast alongside slices topped with tomatoes, green peppers and sliced onion. More toast will be served on the side. 

Sulu köfte are tiny meatballs fattened with bulgur and stewed in a tomato broth. İzmir köfte are baked with potatoes and tomatoes.


İçli köfte (stuffed meatballs) resemble rissoles with a crispy outer shell of bulgur, onion and potato wrapped around a mixture of minced lamb, crushed nuts and onion.

Hasanpaşa köfte are served on a bed of mashed potato.

Kadınbudu köfte (lady’s thigh meatballs) are made from minced meat mixed with rice instead of breadcrumbs, dipped into egg yolk and then fried.  

Terbiyeli köfte (“polite (ie marinated) meatballs”) are rendered sour by the addition of an egg and lemon sauce.

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