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koftes on a plate


  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 14 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Turkish


Koftes are traditional Turkish meatballs, lightly seasoned with cumin and onion. They are super tasty and tender and oh so easy to make at home!


  • 1 big onion
  • 500g ground beef (2 ¼ cups / 18 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp cumin, heaped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • frying oil
  • Turkish (or Greek) yogurt, to serve


instructions for koftes

  1. Peel the onion, discard the stems and rub the onion against the medium side of a box/cheese grater. Discard most of the onion juice and keep the pulp.
  2. Place the ground beef in a mixing bowl. Add the grated onion, egg, breadcrumbs and spices.
  3. Mix together well and knead for 5 min, like you would for bread dough. If you press a bit of mixture in your hands, it should hold its shape. If not, it might be too moist and you should add more breadcrumbs.
  4. With wet hands, take a small handful of the meat mixture and pat it into a flat elongated meatball, about 1cm thick (½ inch).
  5. Repeat until you run out of the köfte mixture. You should have about 14 koftes. Place them on a lightly oiled plate.
  6. Cover the surfaces of a frying pan with 2cm (1 inch) of oil and place over medium-high heat. Wait until the oil reaches 170°C (340°F), or until it’s hot enough to brown a cube of bread in 1min.
  7. Cook the koftes in 2 to 3 batches, frying them for 2 to 3 min per side or until brown.
  8. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve the koftes straightaway with cold yogurt on the side.


Any leftover koftes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size: 7 koftes
  • Calories: 811
  • Fat: 19.2g

Keywords: turkish meals, köfte, barbecue recipes