The Tastiest Vegan Food: Cig Kofte

Cig kofte
Cig Kofte

I am proud to present you Turkish fast food: Cig Kofte. Lots of people like it, also preferred by vegans and vegetarians. This magnificent snack that you can find at every corner in Turkey, that everyone loves and eats; sometimes consumed as a meal. It originates in the southeast of Turkey and is normally made with raw ground beef. Cig kofte means raw meatballs, but the recipe without meat is preferred cause it’s safer to eat. It contains a wide variety of spices, although it seems difficult to make, it is actually easy.


Cig kofte

Cig Kofte Recipe

Turkish meatless vegetarian bulgur balls with lots of spices and tomato&pepper paste. It is also known as Vegetarian Steak Tartar Balls.
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6 people
Calories 226 kcal


  • 2 cups brown extra fine bulgur
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • cup sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion grated, excess juice should be squeezed out
  • 2 medium tomatoes peeled, grated
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste
  • cup pomegranate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or strong paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons isot spice (urfa biber)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 50 grams walnut and hazelnut grounded
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 10 ice cubes or some cold water


  • Put the bulgur in a wide pot. Since bulgur swells, the pot should be large enough and not too deep as kneading will be done.
  • Pour boiling water over the bulgur, mix with a spoon equally, close the lid and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Put all oil in a saucepan, bring heat to low, add tomato and pepper paste firstly. After dissolving them into oil, add all other ingredients except pomegranate syrup. Cook only a little to reveal spice aroma.
  • Add the cooked mixture into the pot with bulgur and a few ice cubes or cold water. Start kneading strongly.
  • Knead constantly and add more ice or cold water if necessary. If sticky and non-crumbling balls can be formed when hand-shaped, it is ready (approx. 15-20 mins).
  • Shape the bulgur mixture with your hands, serve with lettuce and green vegetables.


  • We are aware that it contains a lot of ingredients, but feel free to make it even if a few are missing 🙂
  • You can add extra water and olive oil to give better consistency and brightness.
  • To give it a beautiful appearance and intense taste, you can add a little more pomegranate syrup in the final stage.
  • You should drain onion juice as possible by pressing with hands or by a sieve. If you don't, it will give a bitter taste.
  • You should do the kneading process as long and forcefully as possible (by crushing the bulgur grains). This ensures that the spices blend well and get a good consistency.
  • If you have, you can use a stand mixer. It will be enough to mix it with the machine for 20-30 minutes.
  • Store the leftover by covering stretch wrap on it. Instead of storing in pieces, storing in whole mass will prevent drying and deterioration.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with fresh lettuce, parsley, pickled cucumber and sliced ​​tomato. Optionally, you can consume it with hot sauce or barbecue sauce. Also, cig kofte is consumed with fresh vegetables wrapped in lavash(thin tortilla) in Turkey.
Keyword bulgur


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