Kofta represents a number of different (but similar) dishes that span across many cultures—from Asia to the Middle East. Usually, the recipe consists of ground meat mixed with spices and formed into balls. These kofta ideas showcase the range of variations, from cod kofta to ground lamb kebabs.
Because they're small and oval-shaped, Turkey's kofte are like a cross between a meatball and a hamburger. These kofte, which master butcher Veysel Direk makes at Dukkan butcher shop, are juicy and simply flavored with onion and parsley.
This recipe was inspired by the incredibly moist lentil patties called kufte that Ana Sortun first tried in Istanbul at Ferda Erdinc's vegetarian restaurant, Zencefil. The kufte here are fried, but they can also be served grilled, baked, or "raw."
Burhan Cagdas makes ground-meat kebabs (kofta) from hand-chopped lamb mixed with diced lamb-tail fat. In place of the fat, Paula Wolfert uses crème fraîche, which keeps the meat rich-tasting and meltingly tender.