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  • Writer's pictureCyprus Cooking by Liz

Meatballs - Keftedes

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

When I tasted these little meatballs - Keftedes - for the first time, about 30 years ago, I loved them straight away, so soft, so tasty and moist, I simply had to have the recipe. This was very easy said Mrs Amalia, take just a hand full of minced pork, some parsley, a little onion, some dry mint and she was absolutely right. You cannot go wrong with these meatballs, as you will see below. This blog post has also a lovely pilaf and yogurt with cucumber to accompany the Keftedes, just scroll down. I have been making them ever since and I always have happy eaters!

Keftedes in serving bowl




  • 500 gr minced pork

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • 1 garlic glove crushed

  • 1 egg

  • 3-4 slices old bread without crust

  • 4-5 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • salt & pepper

  • cinnamon

  • dry mint

  • olive oil

  • 2 medium potatoes finely grated



fry onion and garlic

Fry the finely chopped onion in some olive oil until glaze, add crushed garlic glove and fry lightly. Set aside to cool down.

mix all ingredients in a large bowl

Once the onion and garlic have cooled down, add them with all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl

Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with clingfilm. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until the final stage. The mixture may be a little moist, but the old bread will soak up all the juices, so it is important to prepare the mixture some time before hand.

fry meatballs in olive oil

Form small meatballs in your hand-palm, press lightly so they stay fluffy. Fry them in olive oil. The oil should not be too hot, because they need to be cooked well inside. When fried to hot they may look nice on the outside but inside they are still raw.

turn the meatballs occasionally

Turn them occasionally until they are evenly browned and well done on the inside.

Drain them in a colander lined with good quality kitchen paper and after a few minutes transfer the meatballs to a deep-plate or bowl to serve.

keftedes, pourgouri and tsantsiki on display


Recipe Pourgouri

  • 1 small onion finely chopped

  • 1 cup of crushed wheat - Pourgouri

  • 2 1/4 cups of water or home made chicken broth

  • 1 chicken cube low salt

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • 1 fresh tomato in the blender

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Fry onion is some olive oil, add Pourgouri and fry it on medium heat until it slightly changes its color, stir continuously. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary. Set aside for half an hour and then serve. It is important to fry the wheat, it prevents it from getting gluey.


recipe Tsantsiki

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mint

  • 1 garlic glove crushed

  • 200 gr Greek yogurt

  • 1 cucumber coarsely grated and sprinkled with salt so as to drain its juice.

Grate the cucumber and sprinkle with salt, mix a little and place the plate on a knife or so, so that it is tilted a little, the juice that is extracted will run to the lower side of the plate. In the meantime mix olive oil, lemon juice, dry mint and crushed garlic well. Add spoon by spoon the yogurt and add mix well, add more yogurt when completely combined. Dispose of the cucumber juice and add the cucumber to the yogurt, mix. Cover with clingfilm and store in the refrigerator until served.


Enjoy! - Καλή όρεξη!!

With special thanks to "Holy_wood" for the handmade olive-wood chopping/serving board. Shop can be found at Ibrahim Hani, Paphos, Cyprus.

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