Cig Kofte, pronounced chee kofte literally translates to raw kofte. Cig kofte originates from the South East Anatolian city of Urfa. The townspeople were left with no firewood after Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah collected it all to build a cremation pyre. With no firewood, one of the ladies in Urfa mixed venison with bulgur and spices creating cig kofte. Its usually referred to as Turkish steak tartare and served with a fresh salad. This cig kofte recipe is my husband’s uncle’s recipe straight from the town of Urfa making it an authentic and very traditional Turkish recipe.
Recipe for Cig Kofte
Cig Kofte Ingredients
|4 whisky glass of fine grade bulgur||400 gr extra lean beef mince|
|1 tbsp of pepper paste||1 tbsp of tomato paste|
|100-150 gr of Isot (Urfa black chilli flakes) – depends on how spicy you like it||1 tbsp of salt|
|2 tbsp cumin||1 tsp cinnamon|
|1 tsp of all spice||2 garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 brown onion, finely diced||1 bunch flat leaf parsley|
|5 spring onions, finely diced||1/2 bunch of fresh mint|
|3 trays of ice cubes with ice cold water. (approx size – 4 litre ice cream tub)|
Cig Kofte Method
- In a large, deep square tray, pound half the bulgur, spices, meat, onion, pepper paste with ice and water.
- Continue pounding the mixture until well combined and very soft adding water and ice where necessary.
- Depending on how hard and well you have pounded the meat and bulgur together, to get the right consistency, it should take approx. 15 minutes.
- Separate half the bulgur and beef mixture and set aside in a clean bowl.
- Mix the remaining bulgur and beef mixture with the remaining bulgur.
Pounding Cig Kofte – Stage 2
- Once well combined, pound with more ice and water until it reaches a soft pasty texture. This should take another 15 minutes.
- Once the bulgur no longer feels grainy in your mouth, add the meat mixture you had set aside earlier.
- Pound the two mixtures together with more ice water until well combined and pasty.
- Add tomato paste and garlic and further pound with ice water for another 5 minutes.
- Add the finely chopped parsley, mint and spring onion and mix well.
- Shape a heaped tablespoon of cig kofte mixture into long koftes approx. 5 cm in length.
- Repeat the process until you have no mixture left.
- Serve the cig kofte at room temperature with a fresh healthy salad.
Serves 4-6 people
- You can purchase Isot from Turkish food stores.
- If you choose to use extra Isot, reduce the salt added as Isot itself is quite salty.
- Use ice and icy water as this stops the meat from cooking with the heat from you pounding the meat. It also adds moisture.
Find more traditional kofte recipes at Turkish Thyme Cooking.