Kadinbudu Kofte, Turkish Lady’s Thigh Meatballs by Ozlem Warren, Turkish Culinary Expert.
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And now to my recipe ….
Kadinbudu kofte, or as in the literal translation Lady’s thigh meatballs, is one of the favorite forms of kofte with my children and quite a special treat. This tender, juicy kofte has cooked rice in it rather than stale bread and has a delicious coating of beaten eggs and flour. The cooked rice adds a nice texture and a delicious, moist flavor, combined with cumin, red pepper flakes and onions.
There are theories that this saucy name Kadinbudu kofte, Lady’s thigh meatballs, was given by the Sultan’s chefs at the Ottoman Palace kitchens and that kadinbudu kofte being a favorite of the Sultans; one wonders about the inspirations from the Harem.
• 500 gr/ 1 ¼ lb. ground beef, or lamb or mixture
• 100 gr/about ½ cup long grain rice, cooked
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 1 large egg yolk (for the kadinbudu kofte mixture)
• 15 ml / 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 10 ml/ 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 5 ml/ 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
• 1 large egg and the remaining egg white, beaten (for dipping)
• 60ml/ 4 tbsp. plain (all-purpose flour) for dipping
• Small bowl of cold water aside for shaping the meatballs
• Light olive oil or canola oil for shallow frying
• For mash potatoes with spring onions:
• 4 medium potatoes, deskinned and cooked
• 2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
• 45 ml/ 3 tbsp. whole milk
• 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. butter
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
– Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, they will start to soften. Stir in the half of the ground (minced) meat and cook on medium to high heat for about 8 minutes, until all the moisture is absorbed, turn the heat off.
– Add the cooked rice and the chopped parsley to the pan and mix with the cooked onions and ground meat. Season with salt, cumin, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper (I like to season at this stage before adding the raw meat, as you can check the seasoning). Set aside to cool. Stir in the remaining raw meat and egg yolk to the mixture. Using your hands, knead well into a paste. Cover and leave the mixture in the fridge for about 15- 20 minutes to settle.
– Spread the flour on a flat plate. Have small bowl of cold water aside to help shape the koftes. Beat 1 large egg and the remaining egg white in a small bowl. Wet your hands and take large egg sized portions of the meat mixture. Shape and flatten them into an oval ball shape. Repeat until all the mixture is finished; you should be able to have 11-12 koftes.
– Dip the koftes in the flour to have a light, all round coating. Heat 4 – 5 tbsp. light olive oil or canola oil in a frying pan. Then dip the meatballs into the beaten egg and shallow fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes each side. They will be crisp and golden in color.
– Drain the cooked kadinbudu koftes on kitchen paper towel. If serving a little later, take out the paper towel and keep the kadinbudu kofte warm on a baking tray in the preheated oven (180 C/350 F) for 5- 10 minutes.
– For the mash potatoes with spring onions, mash the cooked potatoes with milk, 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter, over medium heat, until smooth. Stir in the chopped spring onions and season with salt and ground black pepper. Combine well.
– Serve kadinbudu kofte hot with mashed potatoes with spring onions and vegetables aside.
© Ozlem Warren