Garlicy Bulgur Buttons (Sarımsaklı Köfte)


These little delicious buttons are known by a variety of names in different regions of Turkey such as sarımsaklı köfte or fellah köftesi, etc. Along with the name change come a variety of sauces. I am posting the recipe with three different sauces. Whichever sauce you pick, there are must do’s when following the recipe: buttons should be small, you really need to press you finger on each one (it holds the sauce), and do not go light on garlic.


for buttons
2 cups of fine bulgur
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup white flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp pepper paste (if you can find)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups of water

for the tomato sauce1/4 cup olive oil
4-5 medium tomatoes, petite diced (or 2 cans of organic diced tomato)
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried mint flakes
for the yogurt sauce
2 cups of yogurt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
for the sour sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp pepper paste
5-6 cloves of garlic
juice of 1 lemon
mint flakes
chopped parsley

black pepper

-In a bowl wet bulgur with 1 cup of warm water. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or a lid and let soak for 10 minutes.
-Add semolina, salt, cumin, black pepper, tomato and pepper paste. Start kneading until semolina and bulgur stick to each other.
-Add flour and keep kneading. Add 1 cup of water in small amounts and knead until the mixture can hold together.
-Take dime size pieces from the mix and roll it in between your palms. Press on top with your index finger. (If it cracks on the sides when you press with your finger, it means you need to knead more) Place buttons on a tray.
-In a big pot, boil approximately 2 liters of water with salt.
-Throw buttons in boiling water. Take them out with a slotted spoon when they come up to surface.

Start preparing for the sauce while cooking buttons.
-For the tomato sauce heat olive oil in a pot.
-Add garlic and mint flakes and stir until fragrant.
-Add diced tomato. Simmer on low until cooked.
-Add chopped parsley after you turn it off.
-If you like sour sauce, heat olive oil in a pan. Stir in garlic and tomato paste (and pepper paste) until cooked. Add mint flakes, black pepper, and lemon juice. Cook for another minute and it’s done.
-If you prefer a yogurt sauce, mix well 2 cups of yogurt with minced garlic.
-Serve buttons with the tomato, sour, or yogurt sauce on top, or with both.

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