No self-respecting blog about Turkish food would be complete without a recipe for kuru köfte! The word kuru literally means dry when they are anything but. In fact they are rather moist with a crispy exterior!
These particular köftes are commonly associated with picnics and traveling as they can be eaten cold as well as hot, and pack easily into picnic hampers or lunch boxes.
Turkey is practically synonymous with köfte: every region has its own and there are specific restaurants offering just these. Believe me, the variations are endless.
The word itself comes from the Persian koofteh which means pounded meat and has become kofta in India, Albania qufte, Greece kefthe and Morocco kefta.
What is a köfte?
Basically it consists of ground meat, usually beef or lamb but it could be chicken or fish, or even pulses such as lentils or chickpeas mixed with salt, onion, herbs, and spices. It goes without saying that the better your mince, the better your köfte will taste.
Never buy your meat already minced: ask your butcher to cut off a piece of meat and to mince it fresh in front of you.
There are two basic shapes which depend not on how you’re feeling but on how they are to be cooked: if fried, you roll them into long finger-like shapes so that there is more surface area for the heat to penetrate.
If grilled, you flatten the meat mixture into the palm of your hand and judiciously pat it into rounds.Makes sense, doesn’t it?
2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed, soaked in water
- Put the slices of bread in a shallow bowl filled with cold water to soak.
- Remove and squeeze dry before crumbling.
- Place along with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead well. (One recipe specifies 5 mins!).
- Wet your hands (to avoid the mixture sticking) and take a piece the size of a walnut. Roll between your palms into a long fingerlike shape. Continue till all the mince mixture has been used.
- Sprinkle the flour onto a plate and roll the köftes in it.
- Fry in a little sunflower oil or cover with clingfilm and store in the fridge. They freeze beautifully too.
- Serve hot or cold with a green salad and fresh bread or chips and ketchup!