Turkish cuisine

Çiğ Köfte

The recipe for Turkish meatballs, Çiğ Köfte.

Remember the Çiğ köfte prepared by Can and Sinem in the Erkenci Kuş TV series? Yes, today I have the immense pleasure of sharing the recipe for Turkish meatballs with you. If you are wondering what they are, Çiğ köfte are raw meatballs! It’s a typical dish from Turkish cuisine.

Çiğ köfte are those tasty dark red meatballs, kneaded by hand first by Sinem and then by Can. But I, faithful to the divine cook who was my mother, will give you her recipe, which you will surely like very much, obviously without detracting from the Çiğ köfte of Can and Sinem.

The ingredients for Çiğ köfte

Here are the ingredients for Turkish meatballs

200 gr of fine bulgur wheat

1 chopped white onion

1 clove of minced garlic

1 spoonful of tomato paste

juice of half a lemon

lettuce leaves

1 tablespoon of chilli concentrate

1 spoonful of spice mix (paprika, cumin, coriander and black pepper)

parsley (abundant)



How to make Turkish meatballs

In a large bowl, mix together the bulgur, tomato paste, chilli paste, onion, minced garlic and spices. We knead it very vigorously (did I already tell you that the secret of Çiğ köfte is to knead it vigorously?).

Often, this dish is prepared by men because it really takes a lot of energy, but as my mom used to say, if a man does it well you have to do it very well… anyway, now I’m digressing.

While kneading, add a little warm water and continue to knead, and always with a lot of energy. There is also the version of Çiğ köfte with meat, lamb or veal; possibly at this point you have to add the minced meat (200 gr. Finely minced).

Add the juice of half a lemon and knead again. We add the chopped parsley and mix again. Tasting, at this point, is essential.

The bulgur must not be crunchy, if it still is, you will need to add a little more water and continue to (always) knead very vigorously.

Now we need to prepare oval meatballs, leaving them the shape of fingers. Let’s lay them on the lettuce leaves, and voila !!!

They must be served immediately.


My mother often kneaded Çiğ köfte. It is a dish that originated in the eastern part of Turkey, but which is now widespread and appreciated throughout the country.

I have heard that there are those who prepare this dish by working the bulgur first. In fact, there are those who put the bulgur in the bowl with the same amount of hot water and salt, then cover it for 10 minutes. This little shortcut can save you the effort of (vigorously) kneading.