Dad’s Sulu Kofte (Meatballs in Sauce)

Well, the holiday is over. I’m back in the city but not before one last dish from the summer house. This was one of my favorite dishes when I was little.  It’s a very prominent Turkish Cuisine. It needs a little work but the end result is super tasty. And of course it comes from the very talented hands of my dad, recipe originates from my late grandmother. It’s literal translation means ‘meatballs in water/watery meatballs)’ = Sulu Köfte.

Ingredients for the meatballs (enough for 6):

  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice
  •  1 egg
  • Allspice
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cumin
  • Salt & pepper

Mix everything and knead very firmly. In strokes almost like ‘squashing’ says my dad. Then give them small ball shapes like gumballs. This is the part that requires patience and experience.



  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped into small cubes (when you prepare the potatoes beforehand preserve them in a bowl with water and lemon juice. So that their color will stay yellow)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (+ 1/2 tablespoon red pepper paste if you have some)
  • Salt & pepper

In a pan saute the onion and peppers with veg oil. When they are translucent add the tomatoes, and tomato paste after a little while. Add 4 cups of boiling water. Add the meatballs gently in the pan with the potatoes. You can add carrots too, if you like. Cook for a little while and add 2 more cups of boiling water when the water level is lower.

If you want the juice to be thicker (which makes it very delicious) you can coat the meatballs with flour in a large sheet pan, again gently.

Cook for 25 minutes and you’re done. If you want you can garnish with chopped parsley. I personally like to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice to make is tangy. Enjoy.IMG_0974 IMG_0975 IMG_0976 IMG_0981 IMG_0986 IMG_0994 IMG_0995


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