Bulgur Kofte is a different version of another traditionally Turkish recipe, garlicy bulgur buttons, from southeastern Turkey. Koftes are usually made with ground meat but this one requires only bulgur, which explains the name: Çılbak Köfte. “Çılbak” means “naked” and “poor,” so we can translate the name for this dish as “The Poor Man’s Kofte.”

These koftes are easy to make and delicious. You can have them with the garlicy yogurt, as well as with different sauces from the garlicy bulgur buttons recipe.


for 4 people
makes approximately 45 koftes

for koftes
1 cup fine bulgur
1 cup hot water
1 cup white flour
1 egg
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp salt

for the sauce
2 cups yogurt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 tsp paprika


-Put bulgur in a big bowl. Add hot water, cover and let it soak for 10 minutes.
-Wet your hands with cold water and knead bulgur for 5 minutes.
-Add egg, salt, tomato and pepper red paste, and mix well with your hands.
-Start adding flour slowly and knead the bulgur dough for 10-15 minutes, until everything is well mixed.
-Take one generous table spoon of the mix and roll between your palms to form a ball, wetting your hands with cold water now and then. Then, squeeze it in one hand to form the fingerprints on an almost oval shape.
-Fill a big pot with water half way through and bring to a boil. Add bulgur koftes, let it boil again, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove koftes with a slotted spoon.
-Beat yogurt with minced garlic with a fork until smooth in a bowl.
-In a small saucepan melt heat butter or olive oil. When it is hot, add paprika and let sizzle for 10-15 seconds. paprika easily burns, so watch out.
-Serve koftes in a deep plate. First pour garlicy yogurt and then sizzling paprika on top.
Simply delicious!

The recipe is from Lezzet Dergisi January 2008 pg 40.

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