Turkish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Yoghurt

These tasty meatballs can be grilled or fried in a pan and are a perfect pairing for a rich Syrah. The crispy pita, sweet tomato, savory meatballs and tangy yoghurt create an unforgettable combination of flavors and textures.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 hour

Pair With: a rich Syrah or Shiraz.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Ingredients For the Meatballs
1 pound ground meat: beef or lamb or a mix of the two
1 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced small
1 clove garlic, minced small
1 egg, beaten
1/3 bunch parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sunflower or olive oil, if frying

Ingredients For the Fried Pita
4 pita
olive or sunflower oil, about 1 cup, in parts

Ingredients For the Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 large, ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch of parsley, minced
about 1 cup yoghurt, as garnish


Directions For the Meatballs
Mix together all the ingredients except the oil. Knead them together well. Wet palms of the hand with water and form small meatballs, press into discs. Sear on both sides on a grill or fry in a hot cast iron or heavy-bottomed frying pan until browned on both sides but not cooked all the way through--they will cook completely in the sauce.
Directions For the Fried Pita
Float a thin layer of oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed frying pan. Heat over medium low until the surface of the oil dimples when you tilt the pan, but not as hot as to let the oil smoke. Fry as many pita as will fit into your pan without overlapping, turning to cook both sides until light golden brown. Add more oil as needed to keep the thin layer of oil for frying. Drain on paper towels and chop into rough 2" squares.

Directions For the Tomato Sauce and Final Plating
In a pan over low heat, cook the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and stir, then add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and sugar. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the meatballs and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve over fried pita and garnish with a dollop of plain yoghurt.



Visit our Wine Store to find a wine to pair with this recipe.

Touring & Tasting adds new wine pairing recipes every week. Check back for tasty new recipes to pair with wine!