Friday, April 20, 2012


(Recipe in English is below. Eksili bulgur köftesi ya da diger adiyla Kürt köftesi için burayi tiklayin)

It’s just one of those things that I love to eat! It’s so tasty to me that I can keep eating it! 

I am not going to tell you guys that it is an easy recipe; the ingredients are easy to find indeed, however the process of preparing the bulgur balls takes some patience and time. However, it is definetely worth the effort! 

You can serve it warm or cold, as appetizer, as mezze or as the simple main dish – like you want!
I’d like to mention that the trick is in kneading the bulgur mixture! If you are patient there, then your bulgur balls will stick to each other. If you kept this process not long enough, then you might run the risk of your bulgur balls dissolving in water leaving a slurry mixture behind.

The first time I made this dish at home, unfortunately my bulgur balls dissolved in water! Since then, I got the habit of steam-cooking my bulgur balls. Less risky and I think more efficient too!
I put a bit more than the half of the bulgur balls that I made into the deep freeze as it is too much for two people at a time! Of course, I reduced the amount of the ingredients to half for the sour sauce!

Ingredients (serves 5 – 6)
2 glasses of fine bulgur
1 small onion, chopped really fine (I purees the onion in the food processor)
1 spoon of red pepper paste (Turkish red pepper “salça”)
3 spoons of semolina
3 spoons of flour
3 eggs
1 desert spoon of cumin
2 glasses of boiling water
Some extra warm water
Juice of 1 lemon

For the sour sauce
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 – 4 tomatoes, pureed in the food processor
1 spoon of tomato paste (Turkish salça)
1 – 2 spoons of pomegranate syrup (visit your local Turkish supermarket and ask for “nar eksisi)
1 drop of sumac syrup (optional)
A handful of parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 – 3 spoons of olive oil

  1. We’ll start with the bulgur balls: take the fine bulgur into a bowl and soak in two glasses of boiling water. Cover and let it rest for at least 20 minutes (20 – 30 minutes should be enough)
  2. When the bulgur soaked the water and is soft, add the red pepper paste, the cumin, the onion puree and the salt and start kneading. Add a few of warm water drops every now and then.  
  3. Add the semolina and continue kneading. I added a few drops of water again in order the semolina to get soft quicker. But be careful with the amount of water you add; we don’t want soup, we want balls!
  4. Add the flour and the eggs. Knead until the mixture is very well combined. You should knead at least for 10 minutes after you add the flour and eggs.
  5. Take small bits of bulgur mixture (as big as grape) and roll in your palm into a small ball. Press the ball in the middle with a finger.  Continue with this process until all the bulgur mixture is finished.
  6. Now we’ll cook the bulgur balls. You can boil the bulgur balls in water and lemon juice mixture. Alternatively, you can steam-cook the bulgur balls (and again in water and lemon juice mixture). In both cases, 10 minutes should be enough.
  7. Start with the sour sauce: saute the garlic in the olive oil for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the tomato puree and tomato paste and cook until the mixture becomes a thick red sauce. Add the pomegrenade syrup, the sumac syrup (if you have it) and salt.
  9. Add the bulgur balls into the cooking sauce. Cook for one minute more.
  10. Add the parsley, mix and serve! 

Step 1 - the bulgur soaked all the water
Step 2

Step 5 - bulgur balls!

Step 6 - boil in water or steam-cook the bulgur balls
Step 8 - the tomato sauce becomes red and thick

Step 8
Step 9

Step 10

Step 10

bulgur balls in sour sauce...

...or also known as "Kurdish bulgur balls"


  1. Sounds amazing, but maybe too complicated for me.
    I'm strictly 10 mins max when it comes to preperation (unless it feels like playing).
    By the way- I tried the dock recipe with chickpeas.
    It was delicious, my hubby loved it, but my kids wouldn't even try it! Unfortunately I didn't post because my camera's memory card stopped working and lost loads of undownloaded photos. I'll make it again soon ( love that minty Turkish taste!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed your meal! Btw, just out of curiousity, is bulgur something available in Italy? In Belgium, I remember bulgur being available even in the big supermarket chains like Carrefour or Delhaize..In any case, rice would be the substitute for bulgur if you haven't got any at hand!

      Today I bought some more dock and mallow from the bazaar; I thought it's time to try the traditional filled dock recipe, but as the leaves seem a bit small, I am kind of discouraged...

  2. Hi again,
    No, Bulger isn't widely used here and not available in local supermarkets, but I know of a specialist shop in Bologna that sells unpackaged produce rice, dry beans, herbs & spices etc.
    Looking forward to discover what you do with mallow. There is lots growing here. I like to drink tea made from the flowers.
    Today I used curly dock and filled with rice and greek cheese.