Go Back
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