No, I haven’t just forgotten to dot my i’s: this is the Turkish letter ı as opposed to i which produces a sound like schwa or -er in mother. The pronunciation is different but what is important here is that the c is j, so these köfte go by the wonderful name of jizbiz.
Can’t you just hear it? .. jizbiz, jizbiz, sizzle, sizzle as the melted fat from the köfte drops onto the hot embers of the barbecue grill and the enticing smell of the grilled meatballs drifts your way? I can both hear it and smell it!
How do these differ from their close cousin, kuru köfte?Well, here’s how:
- They are grilled and not fried;
- shaped into small walnut-sized rounds and then slightly flattened while the others are rolled and formed into finger shapes;
- spiced with kimyon/cumin and garlic while kuru köfte uses parsley and kekik/dried thyme;
- no egg in this one!
There are myriad versions of the meatball here in Turkey: each city, each province proudly lays claim to its own unique recipe using either lamb or beef.
I like this particular one because the meatballs are grilled (you can use a grill pan if you haven’t got access to a barbie). It’s the quality of the meat that counts.
This is the köfte beloved of children: when I first took my own children to the UK many years ago, how they missed the tasty köfte that Babaanne used to make! Not to mention the delicious pilaf that went with it. They didn’t take to English food at all, to my chagrin, and they were probably right.
Here’s an excellent recipe for:
- Crumble the soaked and squeezed bread into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and knead well until the mixture resembles a soft dough.
- With wet hands, take a piece the size of a walnut, roll into a ball and then slightly flatten. Continue until all the mixture is used. Cover and store in the fridge until required. These freeze brilliantly.
Here are some links to other tasty Turkish köfte recipes that I’ve made: cast your eye over them and see what you think …