Legendary Dishes | Keftédes (meatballs)


These tasty little meatballs are an essential item in the Cypriot mezedhes, known as meze, the range of delicacies consumed at a leisurely pace throughout the day. They are usually found among afelia (pork in red wine), barbouni (small red mullets), bourekia (cheese and spinach pies), halloumi (grilled cheese), humous (chickpea-tahini dip), kalamari (deep-fried squid rings), kappari (pickled capers), karaoli yahni (snails in tomato sauce), koupepia (stuffed vine leaves), lemon wedges, loukanika (smoked sausages), lountza (smoked pork), marida (sardines), moungra (pickled cauliflowers), moussaka (layered beef and vegetable, cheese topped pie), octapodi krasato (octopus in red wine), ofto kleftiko (baked meat), olives dressed in lemon, garlic, coriander seeds, herbs and olive oil, pita (flatbread), ravioli (filled pasta), salad, sheftalia (grilled pork), souvlakia (grilled meat), stifado (beef and onion stew), taramosalata (smoked cod roe dip) and talattouri (cucumber-garlic-mint-olive oil dip) among the numerous traditional dishes. More often that not they are served with fried potatoes and a green salad.

  • 500 g potatoes, fine grated, liquid drained
  • 250 g lamb, minced
  • 250 g pork, minced
  • 100 g onion, fine grated
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped small
  • 1 tsp cinnamon / cumin
  • 5 g black pepper, large pinch
  • Grape vinegar, several large splashes
  • 5 g salt, pinch
  • Oil, for frying (optional)

Fold grated potatoes into the minced meat. Add the parsley, breadcrumbs, onions, mint, cinnamon, egg, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, shape into 30 g ovals or balls. Fry in oil or bake in the oven, the latter for 20 minutes on 220ºC until they begin to take on some colour.

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