Kofte (Köfte, Kufte, Koofteh), in English ‘Meatball’ is the most common food of Turkey. According to research, there are more than 100 different meatball recipes in Turkish cuisine. Turkey has 81 cities and each city has at least a couple of different Kofte recipes.
Most of the Köfte variety names receive their names from the cities that they are from. For example, ‘İzmir Köfte’ has received its name from İzmir city and ‘Tekirdağ Köftesi’ has received its name from Tekirdağ city. The only differences between these Meatball varieties are ingredients and their cooking style. While some varieties have bread crumbs in them, some don’t.
The word Kofte comes from the Persian language. Within years, it is derived from the ‘Kufta’ word to ‘Kofte’. In the major cities of Turkey, it is called ‘Köfte’ with ‘ö’ letter; however, it is called ‘Kofte’ in the Anatolia region and in the eastern regions of Turkey.
You can find meatballs at all the meat restaurants in Turkey. I believe; there is no meat restaurant exist that doesn’t offer meatballs on their menu. Kids love it, adults love it and even our 4 legged friends love it. If you ask someone where to eat meatballs, he/she will tell you his favorite restaurant to eat it at unless he is not a vegetarian. Everyone in Turkey definitely has a favorite meatball restaurant. I believe; most of the vegetarians in Turkey are dreamed at least once in their lives to eat it.
Where to eat?
As I mention above, there are countless Kofte varieties of Turkish cuisine. Each of them has amazing tastes. I cannot say one is better than another. In this post, I am giving you the ‘İnegöl Köfte‘ recipe below because I think it is just a little more famous than the other varieties. So if you are visiting Istanbul, I suggest you stop by at Ekspres İnegöl Köftecisi restaurant. I have eaten many times ‘İnegol Köfte‘ at İnegöl county of Bursa city and this restaurant’s İnegöl Köfte‘s taste is as good as the ones that I ate at İnegöl County.
- 800 gr ground beef (80% lean and 20% fat)
- 200 gr ground lamb
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 onion grated
In a large bowl, place the ground beef, ground lamb, salt, and baking soda. Combine all very well.
Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge and let rest for one full day.
The next day, 2-3 hours before cooking; add the grated onion and mix all well. Put back in the fridge and let rest until it's time to cook.
Take walnut-size pieces of ground meat and roll into small balls, and press slightly in between your palms, or give it a finger shape.
Place the meatballs on the grill or on a non-stick pan. And then cook the one side first and then flip them over and don't use any vegetable or olive oil.