I love books! I love to hold them in my hands, leafing through it, to read and dive into a different world. Thus I’m particularly pleased when I fly to Turkey to visit my family. No matter where in which city I am, I spend at least one day in a bookstore and browse around the shelves. To do so Istanbul is just great. There are so many nice bookstores there. I fill my suitcase with books that I read during the cold season in Europe. At the moment I’m reading a historical novel about the Middle Ages in Turkey. I’m learning a lot about the Ottoman regime. To get the feel for the time in another way, I have started to cook forgotten recipes from the Ottoman period. The Seraglio kitchen is also closely linked to Istanbul because the headquarters of the Ottoman Empire was there.
Today’s recipe is from the Seraglio kitchen. These meatballs are crispy outside and soft and juicy on the inside and have a slightly sweet taste because of the unusual spices. It tastes best with a yogurt based meze, fresh salad and crispy pita. Yummy! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!
2 tbsp mild olive oil
500 g beef minced meat
2 plain buns from the day before, finely ground or about 80 g breadcrumbs
2 small eggs
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50 g walnuts, finely chopped or ground
40 g pine nuts, finely chopped or ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper
neutral oil such as sunflower oil for frying
pitta bread and Turkish or Greek style yogurt to serve with
- Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the beef meat until it changes colour. Transfer meat into a bowl and let it cool.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients into the bowl, season with the spices, salt and pepper and mix well. If needed add more breadcrumbs. You should be able to form little meatballs in the size of walnuts.
- In a deep pan heat the sunflower oil, lower the heat to medium and bake the meatballs until crispy. Transfer the meatballs onto a plate coated with paper towels to let it drip.
- Serve meatballs with Turkish or Greek style yogurt or vegetable based dip or fresh salad. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!