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Gaziantep Kofte

Gaziantep Kofte

In Turkey, koftes are very popular for picnics and can be eaten cold with a dip or ketchup. In Gaziantep, grilled meats are often served placed on fragrant, local arugula leaves.


  • 1 slice stale bread
  • 1 lb lamb and/or veal, chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tsp Kofte spices, ground
  • 2 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • salt to taste

Pistachio Taratur Sauce

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup crust-free stale bread
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch of cumin, ground
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup tahini


  • Arugula


  1. 1

    Soak the bread in water; squeeze out water and crumble bread into a large bowl.

  2. 2

    Add remaining kofte ingredients and mix well.

  3. 3

    Using your hands, make flattened, oval balls (makes 15-16 meatballs).

  4. 4

    Cook on a grill or in an oiled pan for a few minutes on either side.

  5. 5

    Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place pistachiosm garlic, bread, salt and cumin in a food processor. Reduce to a purée. While the machine is processing, add lemon juice, tahini and just enough water to make a thick sauce.

  6. 6

    Place arugula on a large plate with the koftes and pistachio taratur sauce on top.