Icli Köfte, or Oruk is a very popular, traditional Turkish snack made by filling the bulgur with dough. It consists of a cracked-wheat shell filled with minced meat, spices, minced onions and parsley. It is originated from an Arabian cuisine, which is called Kibbe. It has variations in the Middle East, Cyprus and Turkey. It is common in southeastern regional cooking of Turkey. The difference is that Turkish Icli Köfte is first boiled in water then sautéed in oil. However, it is made by both boiling and frying technique. Among the traditional dishes of certain regions of Turkey, Icli Köfte is difficult and long to make. Therefore, it symbolizes how a person is good at cooking. It is usually served as a hot appetizer or meze before a meal of kebabs. Favorite fillings include ground beef or lamb combined with ground nuts like pistachios, walnuts or pine nuts and spices. You can find Icli Köfte on the list of appetizers in most meat and kebab restaurants and as a food at special occasions such as festivals, engagements, and henna nights. Serving with ayran is a common practice and one of the restaurants in istanbul, called Sabir Tasi, is the bes Icli Köfte restaurant in all of Istanbul.

A simple recipe is as follows:

3 cups of fine grind bulgur (parboiled cracked wheat)

500g of lean minced beef or lamb

2 onions, finely grated

1 whole egg

2 tablespoons of flour

2 tablespoons red pepper paste

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered cumin

Boiled water


50g butter

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

3 onions, chopped finely

1 kg minced meat, with at least 7-8 percent fat content

1 teaspoon blackpepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon of redpepper flakes

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 cups parsley, chopped finely

2 cups of coarsely ground walnut


50g butter

A dash of paprika

Make the filling first, and let it cool off before assembling ?çli Köfte. Cook the onions in a deep pan with sunflower oil. Add minced meat and brown well. Add cumin, red pepper flakes (or paprika powder), salt, black pepper, butter and fry for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add parsley and cover. Once it’s cooled off a bit, add the walnuts. Keep the mixture in the fridge while you move on to the next step. Mix the bulgur with 2 cups of boiling water. Add salt, red pepper paste, black pepper, cumin, onions, eggs, flour and double ground lean meat. Start kneading all these ingredients into a dough. Make sure you dip your hands into warm water before starting to knead and add small amounts of water into the dough several times as you go. In around 15-20 minutes of hard work, you’ll have a sticky soft dough, softer than pasta dough, but thicker than bread dough.


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