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Turkish Cig Kofte

Well, I think it’s about time to post a Turkish recipe.  I just realized that we haven’t posted anything truly Turkish yet, how can that be!?  This Turkish cig kofte is a very common Turkish food and something that we always look forward to eating when we travel to Turkey or even just when we visit a Turkish restaurant.  Cig kofte is a type of Turkish meatball traditionally made with meat, but this version is meat free, using only bulgar wheat for substance.

One of the delightful aspects of cig kofte is how fresh it tastes.  It is packed with fresh herbs, lemon juice and often served atop crunchy lettuce, making it a great Summer snack.  This recipe calls for biber, a spicy Turkish pepper paste, but you could substitute harissa or just add more cayenne or some red pepper flakes.  While traditional Turkish cig kofte is usually quite spicy, you can add less cayenne and pepper paste to make this a little more mild (I tend to need a more mild version myself).

This is a recipe that is made only by Mehmet (my husband) in our house.  While I do most of the cooking, this meal is solely his, making it even more of a treat for me!  Whenever we need a snack that reminds us days in Istanbul with Mehmet’s family he heads to the kitchen to make a batch of cig kofte.  While it’s not difficult to make, you do need to knead the mixture, just as you would with dough to combine the ingredients.  This part can take some time and muscle, but in the end it is totally worth it!

I’ll be sharing this at today’s Fiesta Friday, hosted by Petra and Jhuls, come join the party!

Cig Kofte PlatterCig Kofte Serving Plate Cig Kofte Close UpCig Kofte Pin


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Cig Kofte
Cig kofte is a traditional Turkish recipe. This version is meat free and made with fresh herbs and lemon to make it light and delicious.
Cig Kofte Serving Plate
Cig Kofte Serving Plate
  1. Begin by cooking the bulgar. Place the bulgar in a large bowl, carefully pour 2 cups of boiling water over the bulgar. Cover and let sit for about 20 minutes, until the bulgar has cooked through.
  2. While the bulgar is cooking, begin chopping your dill, green onion, parsley and mint.
  3. When the bulgar is cooked, add your chopped herbs to the bowl. Then add all of the remaining ingredients except for the lettuce leaves.
  4. Knead the mixture like dough until everything is thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into oval shaped meatballs and serve with lettuce leaves and lemon wedges, enjoy!
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