Adana-style İçli Köfte Recipe

Although it originated in Lebanon, İçli köfte (pronounced as eech-lee kof-tey) entered Turkish cuisine and can now be listed as another Turkish food that requires a lot of work just like mantı (Turkish dumplings) and yaprak sarması (Turkish-style stuffed vine leaves).

Adana-style İçli Köfte Recipe

For a basic quality evaluation; first off, a nicely done içli köfte should have a rather thin shell made with bulgur, like a chocolate egg so to speak. Secondly, the fork should be able to easily thrust into its shell and make its oily juice come out of içli köfte.

There are many variations of içli köfte. In some regions of Turkey, its shell is shaped into an oblong form and fried in oil. Different from this is the delicious Adana-style çiğ köfte which is shaped like a ball and cooked by boiling. Here is the recipe:



  • 2 glasses of fine-ground bulgur
  • A teacup of semolina
  • ¾ glass of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper paste
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • 400 grams of minced meat (preferably minced rib beef)
  • 3 onions
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper or 1 dessert-spoon of red pepper paste


  • Soak bulgur in hot water and allow it to soak the water, as it is done with kısır.
  • Mix the rest of the shell ingredients in a deep bowl and knead until it gets homogenous and attains the desired texture.
  • Fry minced meat in olive oil. Chop onion into slightly bigger pieces. When meat starts to change its color, add in the onion. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper or 1 dstspn of red pepper paste and mix.
  • Turn off the stove. Add butter and, if desired, coarsely chopped walnuts. Stir it and cover it again.
  • When the mixture cools down to room temperature, put it into fridge and let it rest for a few hours.
  • Take a tangerine-size amount of shell mixture. Keep your other hand moist with water and form the dough into shape of a small bowl. Put in some filling and form it into shape of an egg. Make sure that you seal it tightly and smoothly.
  • Boil water in a deep pot. Add some salt or a few drops of lemon juice so that the balls will not fall apart while cooking.
  • When the içli köfte balls rise to surface, this means that they are done.
  • If desired, drizzle some hot butter sauce and sprinkle red pepper over içli köfte before serving.

Bon appétit, my dear friends!  


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