İskenderpaşa Mahallesi, 34096 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
Etsiz Çiğ Köfte: My favourite unattractive Turkish mealDon't let looks deceive you. If you enjoy food with a bite of chili then try one of South Eastern Turkey's favourite "fast food" specialties: Etsiz Çiğ Köfte (no meat raw köfte).
The traditional way of making the köfte is with raw meat (Çiğ Köfte), however, modern food hygiene regulations means most restaurants now serve it without the raw meat. Instead it's a vegetarian mix of bulgar, red pepper paste, vegetables and spices - heavily kneaded together to give a somewhat smooth texture.
Simply place the köfte in an iceburg lettuce leaf, or lavash wrap. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top. Add some parsley. Wrap it up and eat...and watch out for the chili kick!
Some of the best places to try it are in worker's neighbourhood of Aksaray, where restaurants specialising in South Eastern Turkish cuisine overflow onto the streets.
Afiyet olsun (bon appetit).