İçli Köfte

With Cumin Haydari and Chilli Butter


This is one of my very favorites that my mother in law makes. She usually doesn't fry them, but delicately poaches them in broth. Either fried or poached, these #kofte are a great hot #mezze that work well with just about anything! They do take quite a bit of time to prepare, so are perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon with friends and family helping! They do freeze really well so you can make a bunch and reserve them for about 2 months.


Here is what you need:

Makes: 45 - 50 koftes

prep time: >2hrs

fill time: > 1 hr

wait time: >3 hrs or more


For the shells:


2c fine bulgar

2c semolina flour

1c All Purpose Flour

2 eggs, beaten

2TBSP et Oliva Spicy Ezme

2 tsp. salt

  1. combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix well. Add enough boiling water to just cover. Cover with a towel and let sit for about 45 minutes.

  2. while you are waiting, beat the eggs and add Ezme

  3. When cool enough, knead the bulgar, semolina and flour to create a dough. Add egg and ezme mixture and continue to knead.

  4. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer while you make the filling.

For the meat filling:


1 lb of 80-20 ground beef or a 50/50 mix of beef and lamb

1 medium white onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 c chopped walnuts

1/4 c olive oil

2 TBSP et Oliva Istanbul Spice Blend

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried mint

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

1 tsp et Oliva Spicy Ezme

  1. in a large skillet, heat olive oil and fry the onions until very tender. Add garlic and continue to cook.

  2. Add meat and cook through. Add the walnuts, spices, salt, and ezme.

  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring gently. If need be add a little water just to get the meat off the bottom of the pan. This needs to be a relatively dry mix.

  4. Refrigerate until cold and solid


Cumin Haydari


1 c thick greek yogurt

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp fresh dill

3 cloves crushed garlic

2 TBSP nice #oliveoil

  1. combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.

Kofte Assembly


Once the bulgar dough and meat are cool, it is time to assemble the #kofte. Start by rolling the dough into balls the size of golf ball and put them on a lightly floured sheet tray. You may need to use a small bowl of warm water to periodically dip your fingers in to keep the dough from sticking.


After the dogh is all rolled, take a ball and make a little pot to hold your meat. Put a spoonfull of the meat into the pot and seal it back up. Carefully shape the kofta into an egg shape with tapered ends. Set aside on the foloured tray - repeat with the rest of the meat and bulgar until all used up. These need to be refrigerated for at least an hour so plan accordingly.


Once you are ready to cook your kofta, take out the number you want to cook and freeze the rest on the tray before bagging them in #ziplock freezer bags. For frying, bring the oil up to 400 F and fry a few at a time for about 7 minutes until nice and brown. Drain on papertowels and serve hot. If you choose to poach them (healthier and still just as tasty), poach in either a veg broth or chicken broth for about 10 minutes. The broth should be just at a light simmer, otherwise it will destroy all that hard work!


After you are done cooking, start the chilli butter.


Chilli Butter:


3 TBSP butter (salted or unsalted is ok)

1/2 tsp aleppo pepper flakes

1 tsp. dried mint

1 tsp. et Oliva Anatolian Spice Blend


heat the butter until foaming then add spices and mint. Use at the last minute to dress the plate of kofte.


This dish is totally worth all the effort! It really becomes the star of any table! Enjoy!


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