Kofta

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Akçaabat meatballs (Akçaabat köftesi; Turkey)

Kofta (‏كفتة‎) is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in South Asian, South Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisines. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of ground meat – usually beef, chicken, lamb or mutton, or a mixture – mixed with spices and sometimes other ingredients. The earliest known recipes are found in early Arab cookbooks and call for ground lamb.

There are many national and regional variations. There are also vegetable and uncooked versions. Shapes vary and include balls, patties, and cylinders. Sizes typically vary from that of a golf ball to that of an orange.

Etymology[edit]

The word kofta comes from Persian کوفته or kufte, meaning 'pounded meat'. [1][2] The languages of the region of the kofta's origin have adopted the word with minor phonetic variations.[2] Similar foods are called in other languages croquettes, dumplings, meatballs, rissoles, and turnovers.[2][3]

History[edit]

The first appearance of recipes for kofta are in the earliest Arab cookbooks.[4][2] The earliest recipes are for large ground lamb meatballs triple-glazed in a mixture of saffron and egg yolk.[4] This glazing method spread to the West, where it is referred to as "gilding" or "endoring".[2] Koftas moved to India; according to Alan Davidson nargisi kofta were served at the Moghul court.[2]

Koftas are found from the Indian subcontinent through central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and northern Africa.[2] Koftas are found in the traditional cuisines of Afghanistan,[5] Albania, Bulgaria,[2] Armenia,[5][6] Azerbaijan,[5][6] Greece,[2] India,[2][5][7] Morocco,[2] Pakistan,[8] Romania,[9] and Turkey.[5][10] In Turkey it is "a preferred offering at communal gatherings of all kinds", according to Engin Akin.[10] In Armenia and Azerbaijan it is, along with dolma, lavash, harissa, kebabs, and pahlava, a dish of "clearly symbolic ethnic significance" often argued over by gastronationalists attempting to claim it as one of their own country's traditional dishes that has been co-opted by the other country.[6] Kofta is a popular dish among Assyrian people.[11]

Variations[edit]

Generally meat is mixed with spices and often other ingredients such as rice, bulgur, vegetables, or eggs to form a paste.[2] They can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, baked, or marinated, and may be served with a rich spicy sauce or in a soup or stew.[2] Koftas are sometimes made from fish or vegetables rather than red meat.[12] Some versions are stuffed with nuts, cheese, or eggs.[2] Generally the size can vary from "size of an orange to the size of a golf ball",[13] although some variants are outside that range; according to Margaret Shaida tabriz koftesi, which average 20 centimetres (8 in) in diameter, are the world's largest dumplings.[2] They can be shaped in various forms[3] including patties, balls, or cylinders.[14] Some versions are uncooked.[4]

Notable examples[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alan S. Kaye, "Persian loanwords in English", English Today 20:20-24 (2004), doi:10.1017/S0266078404004043.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Davidson, Alan (2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. Tom Jaine, Soun Vannithone (3rd ed.). New York, NY. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7. OCLC 890807357.
  3. ^ a b Herbst, Ron (2015). The deluxe food lover's companion. Sharon Tyler Herbst (2nd ed.). Hauppauge, New York. pp. 261–262. ISBN 978-1-4380-7621-8. OCLC 909914756.
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Ellen (2020). Meatballs : the ultimate cookbook (First ed.). Kennebunkport, Maine. p. 11. ISBN 1-64643-014-X. OCLC 1139766078.
  5. ^ a b c d e Dea, Cynthia (9 March 2015). "Where to Find the Best Meatballs in Los Angeles". KCET. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Tsaturyan, Ruzanna (23 June 2017). "A culinary conflict in the South Caucasus". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  7. ^ Achaya, K. T. (December 1997). Indian Food Tradition A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0195644166.
  8. ^ Fatima, Bushra (30 June 2015). "Pakistanis' love for the succulent kofta curry". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Chiftele | Traditional Meatballs From Romania". Atlas Media. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  10. ^ a b Akın, Engin (2015). Essential Turkish cuisine : 200 recipes for small plates and family meals. Helen Cathcart. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-61312-871-8. OCLC 921994379.
  11. ^ Edelstein, Sari (2010). Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 594. ISBN 9781449618117.
  12. ^ Abdel Fattah, Iman Adel (5 December 2013). "Bites Fil Beit: Koftet el Gambari – Shrimp kofta". Daily News Egypt. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  13. ^ a b Fatima, Bushra (30 June 2015). "Pakistanis' love for the succulent kofta curry". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  14. ^ Başan, Ghillie (2021). The Turkish cookbook : exploring the food of a timeless cuisine. [London]. ISBN 978-0-7548-3515-8. OCLC 1202053063.
  15. ^ Achaya, K. T. (December 1997). Indian Food Tradition A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0195644166.
  16. ^ Aglaia Kremezi and Anissa Hellou, 'What's in the Name of the Dish' in Richard Hosking (ed.), Food and Language: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2009 (London: Prospect Books, 2010) 206