Keftedes are a popular dish all throughout Greece, with multiple variations from region to region. For example, the mainland Greek version is usually made with beef, milk, and bread. It is seasoned with garlic and oregano.
Cypriot keftedes are usually made with pork, though some cooks may combine pork with beef. Another key difference is the fact that the version made in Cyprus will typically use grated potato instead of bread. They will also usually include mint and cinnamon as well as lemon, which gives this version a unique flavor.
Regardless of the ingredients, keftedes are usually deep fried and served with yogurt on the side.
Some sources state that the name keftedes originated from the Hellenic words Koptos and Kopte. Both words are used to describe something small, like a lozenge. Other sources state that it is from the Persian word kofta.
Keftedes are often served with pilaf, fried potatoes and yogurt.
- 600g ground pork meat (mincemeat)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 100g fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp cinammon or all-spice
- 1 tbsp salt and freshly milled pepper to taste
- Corn oil or Vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Once ready to cook add about an inch of the oil to a hard-base frying pan and heat.
Take small amounts of the mincemeat mix and form small balls of about 1 1/2 inches diameter and add to the frying pan. Do this in batches of 4 or 5 balls at a time. Fry them for a few minutes on one side and roll the balls over and fry the other side.
Remove when browned all over and add to kitchen paper covered bowl to soak up the excess oil.
Serve as part of a meze or for a quick snack.
Makes about 20 – 30 meatballs.