Cig Kofte (raw kofte) - What is It?
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Cig Kofte - What is It?
 
 

CIG KOFTE

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  Cig Kofte, pronounced "chee coff tay" (and sometimes spelled cigkofte), is a traditional Turkish food, customary in the southeastern region. "Cig" means "raw," and originally, cig kofte was made with raw meat, though after concerns about the safety of uncooked meat swept the globe in recent years, many people now use cooked meat instead. (Vegetarians substitute scrambled eggs for the meat.)

Ingredients in cig kofte include lean mincemeat such as veal, a grain called bulgur, barley, chopped onions, tomato and pepper paste and spices, including mint and parsley. One particular spice vital to traditional cig kofte is isot, which is a sort of crushed chile (this is hard to find outside of the Middle East). It is said that the spices "cook" the meat when thoroughly mixed. Often, the mixture is formed into meatballs. Regardless of the specific recipe, a popular way to enjoy cig kofte is to wrap a hearty amount in a lettuce leaf and eat like a tortilla wrap.

The dish's origins are steeped in mystery, with several popular stories fighting for credibility. One tale has the prophet Ibrahim (or Abraham, in the Bible) making the raw meatballs while he and his followers were hiding from enemies in a cave - they couldn't start a fire and were forced to eat raw venison. Another legend says that the wife of a hunter created cig kofte after the tyrannical King Nemrut banned firewood, so that he could hoard it all to build a huge fire on which to burn Ibrahim.
 
     
   

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