Turkish Cumin Köfte


I had these in Turkey a few times. I would say that cumin is one of my favourite flavours and these lovely köfte in tomato sauce really brings it out as the key element in the dish. I could eat these all week and still be happy.


750g lamb mince
2 small onions (grated and squeezed of their juice)
3 slices of dry bread (crust removed)
3 large tomatoes
1 green capsicum (thinly sliced) (optional)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper

Soak the bread in water for about 30 seconds. Squeeze by hand then crumble into the lamb mince. Add the onions, cumin, garlic and salt & pepper and knead by hand for about 10 minutes until very well combined. Leave covered for about 1/2 hour. Mould a tablespoons worth of meat into balls and flatten slightly for authenticity.
Heat a little oil in a pan and fry each köfte until brown both sides. Set aside.
Add the tomatoes to the pan with 1/2 cup water and some salt & pepper. Add the bell pepper at this point too if using. Let the tomatoes break up slightly and after about 3-4 minutes, drop in the köfte. Pop on the lid and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve with pickles and salad or some plain pilav rice.

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