- KOFTE (MEATBALLS):
- 1 cup bulgur wheat, coarse grind
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 pound ground meat ( lamb or beef)
- 2 teaspoons kirmizi biber (or combination paprika and cayenne pepper)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped pinenuts
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Flour for dredging
- Oil for frying
Combine wheat and water in a bowl and set aside until reconstituted and tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Heat oil in a large skillet, add onion and pinenuts, and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1/3 of the ground meat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, allspice, cumin seeds and dried thyme and saute another minute to release aromas. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning. Set aside to cool.
Squeeze bulgur dry, add remaining 2/3 of the ground meat, kirmizi biber, and salt. Knead well, sprinkling with water if necessary to form a thick paste. Place a walnut-size piece in your hand, make a hole into it with your finger, and set aside.
Stuff some of the filling into each hollowed-out kofte and close the hole by bringing the sides together. Squeeze it in wet palms of your hands to shape into an oval shaped ball. Repeat with remaining kofte and filling.
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