Köfte, the typical Turkish meatballs

When it comes to typical Turkish dishes, it is impossible not to think of köfte. They are meatballs made from minced lamb. What makes köfte a unique dish is undoubtedly its spicy note, given by the presence of paprika and cumin. In short, a really tasty and perfect recipe for a second different from the usual.

The recipe for Turkish köfte

As you may have understood, Turkish köfte are nothing more than lamb meatballs (at least in their traditional version).
As for spices, those that should not be missing are cumin, black pepper and dried thyme.


– 500 gr of minced lamb meat
– 30 grams of breadcrumbs
– ½ chopped onion
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
– 1 level teaspoon of cumin
– 1 level teaspoon of dried thyme
– black pepper
– chilli powder
– salt
– water

Click here if you want to watch the köfte video recipe

Turkish tzatiki
Turkish tzatiki

How to make köfte: procedure

Combine the minced meat, breadcrumbs, chopped onion and crushed garlic in a large bowl.
Add the spices and mix by adding the water and lemon juice.
After mixing everything with your hands for at least 5 minutes and obtained a homogeneous mixture, transfer the bowl to the fridge for at least 3 hours, or rather overnight.
Then create the meatballs and cook them on the hot grill greased with oil, turning them gradually, in order to favor a uniform cooking. when they are golden brown, then serve hot.

Where to eat köfte in Istanbul

Eating good köfte in Istanbul is quite simple. It is difficult to find them not good. However, we advise you to go and try those of Sultanahmet Köftecisi (Divanyolu Caddesi 12A, Sultanahmet), an institution in Sultanahmet since 1920.