As you probably already know, köfte, the Turkish meatballs, are some of the best Turkish food you can get. If you like meat, then.
I think, I have never met anyone, who doesn’t like the traditional köfte, but of course they come in a myriad of variations: with and without various spices, with baking soda (as in Tekirdağ köftesi), in a dish, with lentils and many more.
This time, I have tried a new recipe with köfte, namely with bread, tomato sauce, butter and yogurt. A bit like Iskender kebab, which you probably know and which tastes quite phenomenal. Nothing less. It is undisputed my Turkish favorite right. Fatty, juicy, delicious and full of flavor. So I was a little extra excited about this variant, since I haven’t tasted it before. And it doesn’t disappoint – if you don’t experiment too much, as I did.
Köfte, bread, tomato sauce, butter and yogurt:
Yoğurtlu köfte kebabi, with tomato sauce and yogurt, is pretty much like Iskender kebab (but not quite as good in my book). But mega, mega delicious. And really good if you just are at home in for example cold Denmark and miss Turkey. For the combination of meat, bread, tomato sauce, butter and yogurt, is very typical Turkish and a part of their really good dishes. In my opinion, at least.
Usually if you have it served at a really good restaurant, it comes in one of the fine round copper dishes with pointed lid. A reminiscence from the Ottoman Empire and a quite festive feature I think. But unfortunately I do not have one, so you have to settle for a little more “humble” pictures.
I have never even made Yoğurtlu kebabi before. So this is the first time. But the result was so good, that I had to share with you. It was actually really good. But … I experimented a little with the bread, because I wanted to make it more coarse. And it was not quite as good as the regular recipe you find here. And then there was a lot of heat on the grill, so some of the meatballs were a little dry, because they are so small and thin. So if you are aware of that, then everything goes fine.
A slightly cheaper version:
I would almost go as far as to say, that köfte with tomato sauce and youghurt can almost replace Iskender kebab in a very weak moment. But only almost, because there is a difference, whether you use clean, good lamb in pieces, or make a mixture of minced meat such as beef and lamb. Of course there is. I made the mixture, but I would recommend you to make the meatballs of pure lamb. So it will be best and the fat gives much more flavor.
It’s just that lamb is so furious expensive in Denmark – some of the most expensive you can eat. So it usually sets its natural limit on how often you can eat it (as in Iskender kebab). Although the stomach may tell you something else : /
And that is why the köfte version is really good. Although I definitely recommend using whole lamb, you can mix it with more or less veal or beef. And it does help a little (read: in the wallet).
So if one day you have to enjoy yourself or impress your guests, hop on and make this dish. It’s pretty easy. And if you are really good…. Then you also bake your own bread. Yes it takes time, but hey – isn’t that (also) a part of the game, when having guests? Use time and love in the kitchen, when preparing the meal? You can of course also choose to buy some really good pita bread, if the baker has them. The good homemade kind of thing. Not those who most of all are reminiscent of cardboard and are packed in stacks in the bread counter and can stay for months. They are not worth anything in this context (or at all?).
A really delicious dish with köfte, youghurt, tomato sauce and butter that reminds a lot about Iskender kebab.
- 750 gram minced lamb, or half lamb/ half veal or beef. But pure lamb is best
- 2 slices of bread, a bit dry and without the crust
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 handfull italyan parsley, finely diced
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp red chili flakes, “pul biber”
- salt and pepper
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp oliveoil
- 2 small garlic cloves, finele diced
- 1 small red chili, finely diced
- 750 gram tomatoes, or two tins
- 2 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sumak
- 500 gram yoghurt
- 2-3 tbsp pine nuts, if wanted
- 1 or 2 round turkish pide bread, link to recipe under notes
1: If you don’t buy the bread, bake one or two first. You will find the recipe under notes.
2: Mix the ingredients from the köfte. I chop the onion and parsley in a minichopper, and otherwise mix everything together, so that it can pull for an hour or more before using it (if you have time – otherwise you just mix it just before you use it).
3: Form small “sausages”, about 2 × 7 cm (or put them on skewers if it’s the easiest for you)
4: Grill them, or fry them on the stove for about 6-8 minutes. Remember to turn along the way. They should be slightly soft and slightly pink inside.
For the sauce:
1: Fry the onion for about 1 minute
2: Add chili and garlic and fry for a few minutes
3: Then add the remaining items and allow to boil for about 10 minutes
4: Blend it with a hand blender
1: Melt the butter at low heat
2: Stir the yogurt with a fork to make it more creamy
4: toast the bread – so the edges just gets a bit bite and becomes brittle. Slices the bread in small cubes
4: Put the bread on a dish, sprinkle a little sumac over, then the tomato sauce, the yoghurt, the meat and the sizzling melted butter.
Enjoy the refreshments
I can only recommend baking the bread myself – it will be super delicious. You get the recipe for pide ekmek here. Just shake it a little before you need it, so there will be a slightly crispy edge. It makes it all a bit more delicious.
If you have the opportunity, use pure lamb. The mixture becomes a bit more dull and with less taste. Just a little.
If necessary, add a little garlic to the yogurt and the pine nuts for the sauce. It’s quite good.