İçli Köfte, Traditional Delicacy of Turkish Cuisine.


İçli Köfte Recipe

İçli köfte is a traditional delicacy of Turkish cuisine. It consists of a thin bulgur dough filled with minced beef and spices. The dough of içli köfte is typically shaped into oval or cylindrical forms and filled with the meat mixture. İçli köfte is commonly cooked by frying or boiling and served with a squeeze of lemon on top. It is accompanied by garnishes such as lettuce and pomegranate molasses.

How to make içli köfte?

Here is a detailed recipe for içli köfte:

Here’s a detailed recipe and description for “içli köfte,” also known as “stuffed bulgur balls” or “kibbeh.”

Içli Köfte (Stuffed Bulgur Balls)


For the shell:

  • 2 cups fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 500 grams ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pepper paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 250 grams ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, place the bulgur wheat. Pour the boiling water over it and cover the bowl. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes until the bulgur absorbs the water and becomes soft.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. Add the ground beef or lamb and cook until browned. Season with cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cook until the meat is fully cooked. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once the bulgur has softened, knead it thoroughly with your hands until it becomes a smooth dough-like consistency. This will help the bulgur release its gluten and become pliable.
  4. In a separate pan, heat the vegetable oil and sauté the finely chopped onion until translucent. Add the ground beef or lamb and cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, pepper paste (if using), cumin, allspice, and salt. Cook for a few minutes until the flavors are well combined. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  5. Take a small portion of the bulgur dough and shape it into a ball, about the size of a walnut. With your thumb, make an indentation in the center of the ball, creating a hollow space to hold the filling.
  6. Fill the hollow with a teaspoon of the meat filling. Carefully close the opening, reshaping the ball into a smooth oval shape. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling.
  7. Arrange the stuffed bulgur balls on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  8. Içli köfte can be served either warm or at room temperature. It is often accompanied by lemon wedges and served with a side of yogurt or a fresh salad.

Note: This is a general recipe for içli köfte. There may be variations in the ingredients and cooking techniques based on different regional preferences and family recipes.

Içli köfte, due to its special nature as a dish prepared for special occasions, gatherings, or esteemed guests, may require some time and effort. However, the end result will be a delicious and satisfying experience of Turkish cuisine. Enjoy your meal!

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