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The authentic Isli kefte (meatballs) of Cappadocia

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The authentic Isli kefte (meatballs) of Cappadocia


5 cups simintri (fine groats)
5 cups water
1 1/2 flour for all uses shieved
500 gr. cow butter or margarene
2 kg mixed meat lamb and beef
1700 gr. dried white grated onions
2 ssp cumin
1 ssp crushed red pepper
150 gr. pine cones
Lemon Juice
Freshly grated peppers variety
  • Difficulty: Medium



  The authentic Isli kefte (meatballs) of Cappadocia

    An iconic and festive taste…

Cappadocia is a magic place — it happens that some of my favourite people I know are originated from there and I admire their culture, their authenticity and their honor . The owner of Signature Travel in Athens, Maria Alifragki suggested me to go for a travel in Cappadocia . With her experience, I accepted and thanked her for the uniqueness of the trip’s organization.

St. John’s (Agios Ioannis) church of Rossos which was rebuilt in the the house he used to live

I travelled in picturesque Prokopi (Ürgüp) where Agios Ioannis the Rosos lived. I visited the house, the farmyard and the little church and I went to the castle and I saw an amazing view. An entire state on the rock chiseled, with mansions with elaborate limestone facades, as the limestone and granite quarries were close by. The hotels are dreamy and within the rocks. I had the unique experience of traveling with the air balloons (an unpowered aerostat) and have seen the unique lava rocks that have taken on strange winds, fairytale shapes with air and water.

Prokopi, the place where St. John’s (Agios Ioannis) lived, has been transformed into a luxurious hotel with rooms in caverns and caves. It is one of the most expensive hotels in Turkey

All around the area because of the microclimate and soil texture, viticulture flourished over the years with the region’s famous wines. In 1923 the vineyards were uprooted, but forty years ago the regeneration of the vineyards and the production of white and red wine from varieties of indigenous vineyards began. Legumes, walnuts, chestnuts are as well as apples that are dried and give tea with a unique drink that characterizes Turkey. Pulleys are made in many ways and have an enviable taste and wheat is considered the best in the region. Isli marks their cuisine and we asked the best chef for the authentic Cappadocian recipe that we share with you.

The authentic Isli kefte (meatballs) from Cappadocia


maybe 3 hours or more

In a bowl, we pour the flour and the water and we mix it 2-3 times and we let it rise for maybe 3 hours or more.


When it rises, we knead it hard to get the starch out and sprinkle with flour and pass it through our hands like makinig breadcrumbs. We pour salt, pepper and we continue to knead. The dough has to be tight to make the isles delicious.

7-10 minutes

In a saucepan, we pour the butter and we sauté the onions until they are polished and dry for 7-10 minutes.

20 minutes

We add the minced meat and we fry for about 20 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. 2 minutes before the end, we put the pine nuts, cumin, red pepper, salt, pepper variety and we mix with the spoon and let boil.


We remove the pan from the heat and we leave the minced meat to cool well.


We take pieces of dough like big walnuts and we work them into our hands by putting our finger between the dough to open and thin.


In the middle, we put 1 large ssp of minced meat and we close the dough.


In a pot, we add water to boil and then we pour salt and lemon juice.


With a spoon, we put the isles one by one and they go to the bottom of the pot. As soon as they get to the surface our islis are ready.


We place them in a large plate covered with absorbent paper. Allow them to leave their liquids and immediately we pour them in hot sunflower oil and we fry them until they get a brownish color.


We serve on a plate and we eat them while dripping on every bite lemon juice…

Sissy N.

Bread cheese from Prokopi
“Daddy’s” Rice Salad

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