This one comes from a professional. My dear cook friend, Aylin.
Aylin is half Finnish, half Turkish. I met her first a few years ago but our real friendship began when both of us participated in the protests we had in Helsinki in solidarity with Gezi Park protests happening in Turkey at that time. I remember, very vividly, that after our protest that ended in Senaatintori, some of us went to Kaisaniemi park to have a spontaneous mini picnic. There we talked and talked about food (and many other things) with Aylin and a few months later, we did this co-cooking session.
Kadınbudu Köfte is a very traditional Turkish meatball. Its characteristics are that the meat is mixed with rice, it is covered with beaten eggs and flour and fried in a pan. Traditionally, it is shaped a bit elliptic, not like balls, and each one is made quite big so eating one of this already makes you full.
For some reason, which I cannot remember right now, I hated these meatballs when I was a kid. I don’t know if my mother put something in it that I did not like. Or maybe it was just because I was a problem child! Anyway, years later, I suddenly started to crave for it and Aylin, feeling it (!), decided to teach me this in our co-cooking session.
The name of the meatball, “Kadınbudu”, literally means “Lady Thigh”. I have no idea who came up with this name and why, but it has always been a funny topic in Turkey or with foreigners. Well, then again, there are many dishes in Turkish cuisine that refers to some parts of a woman’s body so it is not too unusual for us.
Kadınbudu meatball is a main dish. As it has rice in it, I would not recommend rice as a side dish with it. Aylin served a simple salad and mashed potatoes and that was a delicious combination so I can recommend it.
(makes 24 meatballs – we doubled the measurements since we needed a lot of meatballs. You can perfectly half the measurements here for a normal amount of meatballs – which is 12. They are quite big meatballs as you can see..)
2/3 cup / 1.6 dl water
100 gr / 150 ml rice for porridge (puuroriisi)
Vegetable oil to fry (Rypsiöljy is a good option)
800 gr. minced meat – beef (naudan jauheliha in Finnish), divided in 2
5 eggs (2 while kneading meatballs, 3 for frying)
2 tsp / 10 ml salt
2 tsp / 10 ml black pepper
2 tsp / 10 ml cumin
2 cups / 4.8 dl plain flour
Serve together with: Mashed potato & salad
1. Put water in a pan. Add rice and heat at maximum. When rice absorbs all the water and is cooked, take it out of the pan and transfer to a bowl to cool down. You will need it to really cool down, therefore I suggest to the readers who are living in a cold / cool place to put the rice outside on the balcony or something for a while.
2. Chop 3 onions in small pieces.
3. Adjust stove to high heat. In a frying pan, put vegetable oil and let it warm for a while. Then add onions and sauté them until they are translucent.
4. Add half of the meat to onions. Cook the meat with onions by continuously stirring. When it is done, take it out of the heat.
5. Put second half of the meat in a mixing bowl. Add cooked meat / onion mixture.
6. Crack 2 eggs. Add cooled rice, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.
7. On a plate, crack 3 eggs and beat them with a fork. Put aside, close to the stove.
8. On another plate, put flour and put this next to eggs on step 7, again close to the stove.
9. Knead the meat mixture, until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
10. Make meatballs. The shape should be round (or oval) and flat. The size should be about 5-6 cm in diameter. You should make about 24 meatballs in the end.
11. In a frying pan, put some oil and heat on high.
12. When the oil in the pan is ready for deep frying, fry the meatballs: Cover each meatball with flour first, then dip it in eggs. Be generous. Then put the flour / egg covered meatballs in the pan and deep fry!
13. When they are done, put them on a piece of paper towel so that their excess oil is absorbed. When all excess oil is absorbed, put the meatballs in a serving plate and enjoy! They are really tasty when they cool down for a while, you can prepare them a few hours before your guests come. Serve them with mashed potatoes and a simple fresh salad. If some are left the next day, they taste even better!