Kadinbudu kofte, or as in the literal translation Lady’s thigh meatballs, is one of the favorite forms of kofte with my children and quite a special treat. This tender, juicy kofte has cooked rice in it rather than stale bread and has a delicious coating of beaten eggs and flour. The cooked rice adds a nice texture and a delicious, moist flavor, combined with cumin, red pepper flakes and onions.
There are theories that this saucy name Kadinbudu kofte, Lady’s thigh meatballs, was given by the Sultan’s chefs at the Ottoman Palace kitchens and that kadinbudu kofte being a favorite of the Sultans; one wonders about the inspirations from the Harem.
A few tips on kadinbudu kofte; you can use leftover cooked rice for this juicy kadinbudu kofte. You can use ground (minced) beef, lamb or mixture. I tend to make my kadinbudu koftes quite chunky; smaller ones may also be a wonderful appetizer or mezze. Having a bowl of water aside and wetting your hands does help shape the meatballs. I like to shallow fry them rather than deep fry, they still get a nice coating and lighter. You can cook kadinbudu kofte ahead of time and give a gentle reheat in the oven (at 180 C /350 F for 15 minutes), just before serving.
Kadinbudu kofte is a delicious, comforting meal with mashed potatoes with spring onions by the side. Seasonal vegetables cooked in olive oil, Cacik dip of cucumbers and yoghurt as well as a refreshing Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onions in olive oil and lemon juice complement kadinbudu kofte well. Kadinbudu kofte is also delicious as a cold picnic lunch.
- 500 gr/ 1 ¼ lb. ground beef, or lamb or mixture
- 100 gr/about ½ cup long grain rice, cooked
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 large egg yolk (for the kadinbudu kofte mixture)
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 10 ml/ 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 5 ml/ 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large egg and the remaining egg white, beaten (for dipping)
- 60ml/ 4 tbsp. plain (all-purpose flour) for dipping
- Small bowl of cold water aside for shaping the meatballs
- Light olive oil or canola oil for shallow frying
- For mash potatoes with spring onions:
- 4 medium potatoes, deskinned and cooked
- 2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
- 45 ml/ 3 tbsp. whole milk
- 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. butter
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, they will start to soften.
- Stir in the half of the ground (minced) meat and cook on medium to high heat for about 8 minutes, until all the moisture is absorbed, turn the heat off.
- Add the cooked rice and the chopped parsley to the pan and mix with the cooked onions and ground meat. Season with salt, cumin, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper (I like to season at this stage before adding the raw meat, as you can check the seasoning). Set aside to cool.
- Stir in the remaining raw meat and egg yolk to the mixture. Using your hands, knead well into a paste. Cover and leave the mixture in the fridge for about 15- 20 minutes to settle.
- Spread the flour on a flat plate. Have small bowl of cold water aside to help shape the koftes. Beat 1 large egg and the remaining egg white in a small bowl.
- Wet your hands and take large egg sized portions of the meat mixture. Shape and flatten them into an oval ball shape. Repeat until all the mixture is finished; you should be able to have 11-12 koftes.
- Dip the koftes in the flour to have a light, all round coating.
- Heat 4 – 5 tbsp. light olive oil or canola oil in a frying pan.
- Then dip the meatballs into the beaten egg and shallow fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes each side. They will be crisp and golden in color.
- Drain the cooked kadinbudu koftes on kitchen paper towel. If serving a little later, take out the paper towel and keep the kadinbudu kofte warm on a baking tray in the preheated oven (180 C/350 F) for 5- 10 minutes.
- For the mash potatoes with spring onions, mash the cooked potatoes with milk, 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter, over medium heat, until smooth.
- Stir in the chopped spring onions and season with salt and ground black pepper. Combine well.
- Serve kadinbudu kofte hot with mashed potatoes with spring onions and vegetables aside.
i am going to make these tomorrow! thay look terrific. thanks for another great recipe!
You are very welcome Jaz, delighted to hear it inspired, afiyet olsun!
My mother-in-law was ace at these meatballs and used to make them for journeys. I always think of them being served out of tupperware containers.
I have similar memories with my mother preparing them as picnic food, BB, they really are delicious when cold too, nice addition to picnic spread or journeys:)
I can just imagine my kids loving these meatballs, Ozlem…and cooked rice is something I always have on hand! Lovely spices too. XxPeri.
Same here dear Peri, we always have a bit of a leftover rice and this koftes are a delicious way to finish them off – hope the boys enjoy it 🙂 Ozlem xx
Özlem’ciğim, I love kadınbudu köfte. It really is, as you say, a real comfort food.Thanks for the very delicious-sounding recipe. Kendine iyi bak ve ailene selam söyle. xoxo J
Rica ederim sevgili Jolee, a bit of kadinbudu and mash brightens the day! Glad you enjoyed the post, cok sevgilerimizle, Ozlem xx
Looks delicious!! The recipe sounds like it came out very juicy. The best kofte I ever had was from Turkey.
Merhaba Taste of Beirut, indeed it was a juicy, moist kofte, highly recommended – glad you enjoyed koftes in Turkey!
I am so thankful I found your blog. I love it. I love reading it. I am quite a beginner at cooking and I always make a mistake. Today while cooking this wonderful dish my oil turned black, I believe because of the flour. I fried my köftes 3 mins a side, but they stayed raw inside. Can you give me an advice to correct myself. I am expecting my mother-in-law in 2 days, and I want to give this dish another try.
PS. I am cooking 4 courses from your blog. I really hope they will be delicious
Thank you in advance!
Merhaba Nesli, many thanks for your kind note; I am delighted to hear you’re enjoying my blog and recipes here. Re Kadinbudu kofte, smaller koftes may work better for inside to cook fully – bear in mind you are partially cooking the minced meat with onions prior too – and canola oil helps. I did get a little black bits while frying but they tasted delicious, do hope you and family enjoy them, so glad you’re giving the recipes a go! Afiyet olsun, Ozlem
I’m a Pakistani but in love with Turkish food. I’m definitely going to try this recipe myself as I could not find any Turkish restaurant here in my hometown. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. 🙂
Merhaba Farwa, many thanks for your kind note, so glad you enjoy Turkish food, hope you like Kadinbudu kofte 🙂 Ozlem
I used moose and turkey and it was wonderful. Moose has almost no fat so the combination with the ground turkey all was wonderful.
Your recipe is excellent – made it this evening for my Turkish husband and he loved them (I did too, but for it it was like going home). I mixed bison and beef (living Alberta Canada we have access to great bison). Thank you so much – I will definitely be making these again! Çok teşekkür ederim!
You are very welcome, so glad you enjoyed it – afiyet olsun!
I want to try this ,, haven’t had it in years … is that half cup of cooked rice or like one cup cooked rice ? Ty
Merhaba Maria, do please try, it is delicious – the rice is 1/2 cup cooked rice as in the ingredients, lovely delicious kofte – Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem
Made these tonight .. so delicious in taste and texture .. I used beef 85/15 .do you suggest less fat? .. lit reminded me of veal scalllopine in taste. Or even kibbeh in texture . I did have a hard time forming them as they are so moist .. definitely making them again and again .. my family lightly squeezed lemon on them .. is that traditional to do ?
Merhaba dear Maria, so glad to hear you enjoyed Kadinbudu kofte; yes a squeeze of lemon juice over the top is lovely. About 10 % fat is good here and egg helps binding the mixture, as well as the cooked rice. So glad you enjoyed it, Afiyet Olsun! Ozlem
Yes, these are delicious as is all Turkish food.
Thank you Valerie, so glad you are enjoying Turkish food, afiyet olsun, Ozlem