Kofte — spicy Turkish meatballs — cooking in a cast iron ridged grill pan.
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 6: A taste of (not-leftover) Turkey

Turkish meatballs with garlicky dipping sauce

Having now enjoyed a number of days of leftover turkey (the holiday bird, that is), Day 6 was about bringing a different taste of Turkey to the table.

The spices and grinder remaining in our
The spices and grinder remaining in our “17 Eyed Spice” pack.

That poor poultry pun was by way of introducing the stars of today’s creation: the few remaining dried herbs and spices from the Cumali Baba “17 Eyed Spices” gift set, purchased in 2014 at an Istanbul market by daughter Hannah when she was a London-living, globe-trotting 20-something.

Twelve of the 17 spices had been consumed, but among the remaining containers were sumac, coriander and mint which I used to make the fragrant Turkish meatballs known as kofta (or kefta). The best kofta I’ve tasted comes from Sofra, a tiny restaurant in Edmonton’s downtown. Mine did not quite match the flavour of theirs, but were still a terrific take on meatballs.

I used a recipe from a website called Venturists — Adventures in Food and Travels, which I’d not stumbled on before. Then, I went to Epicurious to use its recipe for a garlicky yogurt dipping sauce.

Served with home fries and salad.

Kitchen castoffs used

Sumac, coriander and mint from the Cumali Baba “17 Eyed Spices” gift set.

For kofte

  • 1 lb ground beef (or lamb, or mix of beef and pork)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp “meatball spice mix”, made from: 1tsp each of cumin, coriander, paprika, dried mint and sumac, plus ½ tsp each of cinnamon, allspice, ground ginger, nutmeg, cayenne. (You’ll have some spice mix left for next time)

For the yogurt sauce (I made half this amount)

    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • 1 tsp chopped garlic
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Kofte (spicy Turkish meatballs), with a garlicky yogurt dipping sauce.
Kofte (spicy Turkish meatballs), with a garlicky yogurt dipping sauce.

This is how we did it



Mix the all meatball ingredients together, form into flat-ish ovals.

I cooked mine on the stovetop, using a cast iron grill pan. The ridges on the bottom raise the patties up from the fat in the pan, and they create pleasing grill marks. Cook about 7 to 8 minutes total, flipping a couple of times so they didn’t burn.

For the sauce, mash the garlic and salt together, then stir in the yogurt along and lemon juice.

About my 100 day project: 100 days of cooking, using forgotten or cast-off kitchen ingredients.

If you like this, you might enjoy previous posts about my #100daysofcooking

Have you done a 100 day project? I’d love to hear about it

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