Sizzling kofte

Sizzling kofte

Cızbız köftesi

Turkish Fire
Alicia Taylor

For this dish, be sure to use minced lamb with some fat in it. Don’t panic, most of the fat will come out in the cooking, but it will make your köfte taste divine and not dry. The bicarbonate of soda may seem an unusual addition, but it binds the köfte together and gives them a beautiful texture.

These are fantastic for picnics or cocktail parties, any time of the day.


Quantity Ingredient
500g minced lamb, with medium fat content
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large white onion, peeled and grated
50g dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground, (see note)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
olive oil, for brushing
Rocket salad, to serve
or Shepherd salad, to serve
grilled lemon wedges, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the lamb, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, cumin and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix together well. Cover and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. You can cook these babies on the barbecue, brushing them with olive oil, or in a large, lightly oiled, heavy-based frying pan.
  3. Before you start making all your kofte, take a little piece of the lamb and shape it 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.
  4. Have a little bowl of water next to you. Wet your hands and break the lamb mixture into walnut-sized pieces. Roll each piece into the shape of a little sausage, until you have shaped all your kofte.
  5. Cook the kofte over a high heat for 2 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve hot or cold, with your choice of salad, and perhaps some lemon wedges that you have quickly grilled up with the kofte.


  • 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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