Beef kofte

Beef kofte

Kuru köfte

Turkish Fire
Alicia Taylor

In Turkey there are loads of different recipes for köfte. This is just one way of enjoying beautiful beef. Besides barbecuing the köfte, you could also pan-fry them in some olive oil, over a medium heat, until cooked through.

Another way to enjoy this dish is to thinly slice some eggplants lengthwise, brush on both sides with olive oil and fry on both sides until golden. Sprinkle each eggplant slice with sea salt, place a köfte on top and roll it up. Yummm.


Quantity Ingredient
500g minced beef, not too lean
3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
2 brown onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground, (see note)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg, lightly whisked
30g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
60ml olive oil
Shepherd salad, to serve


  1. Put the beef in a large bowl. Dampen the bread by quickly dipping each slice in water. Squeeze the water out and add the bread to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients — except the salad, of course! — and mix together really well. (You can cook the kofte straight away, or cover and let the flavours develop in the refrigerator overnight.)
  2. Light your fire, or fire up your barbecue to a medium–high heat.
  3. Shape a little piece of beef into a sausage the size of your index finger. Cook one before you shape any more, to check if you need to adjust the seasoning. That’s what I always do.
  4. Now shape all the sausages and take them on a tray over to the fire or barbecue. Cook until they are done — this should only take 2–3 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve hot, with shepherd salad.


  • Freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds add wonderful flavour to dishes. To toast cumin seeds, tip them into a small frying pan and lightly fry them over medium heat for a minute or two, until they smell fragrant, shaking the pan often to toss the seeds around so they don’t burn. Then just grind them to a powder using a mortar and pestle (a fabulous kitchen tool — everyone should have one!), or a spice grinder.
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