Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Yuvarlama is a regional special of where I am at the moment - Gaziantep.  It is delicous and has variations.  Today is the day it is eaten ( the day after Ramazan has finished) so this morning at 8am a neighbour came and gave us a generous amount for our breakfast. A bowl of rice pilav also came.

Neighbour 1

After eating this another neigbour came and gave us thier offerings.  Neighbour 1 had the tiny köftes made without meat and had a couple of pieces of meat in the yogurt soup.  Neighbour 2 had the köftes made with meat and some chicken in with the yogurt.  Neither had used a meat stock to thin out the yogurt.  As you can see even though the recipe is standard people do whatever they like or whatever they can to suit the budget.

Neigbour 2 yuvarlama with rice pilav

Making the köfte
What is Yuvarlama when it is broken down? It is a dish made with little rice bubble sized meatballs made usually with fat free mince(ground beef)and coarsely ground rice flour.(Neighbour 1 had just made the köftes out of rice)  These are then steamed and added to a yogurt soup that has a very small amount of beef or chicken and chickpeas.  Then on top of that they have a bright green mint sauce.

This is a time consuming job as you can imagine, most people make a kilos worth of meat and 500gr of rice flour and then make tiny tiny meatballs.  All the neigbours will sit with each other and get them all done over the period of a couple of days.

Here is the recipe.

1 kilo of fat free beef mince
500gr of rice flour
1 egg

Knead all this together until it is a dough.  Using oiled hands take tiny pieces of this mix and make rice bubble sized pieces. Set aside.  Steam over hot water in a colander until they are cooked (they usually change colour)

1 kilo yogurt
250gr of either cooked meat or chicken, diced or shredded
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
meat stock if wanted or water

Take the yogurt and put into a saucepan add in 1 cup of water or stock and whisk together.  You dont want this too thin or too thick.  Should be the same consistency of a tinned tomato soup.  Put the saucepan on the stove and heat slowly wisking well, dont bring it to the boil.  Add in the cooked meat and chickpeas and then 4 cups of prepared köftes.  Add in more water to cover and cook on a medium heat until everything has come together nicely which will take about 15 minutes.  Take off the heat and make the mint sauce.  Using about half a cup of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of mint put into a small saucepan and mix well, keep on the heat for a couple of minutes.       Pour ontop of the Yuvarlama and serve.

A couple of things to remember - you can make the meatballs with just the rice flour - you can use chicken mince to make the meatballs - you can omit the egg if you are making the meatballs with meat or chicken - if you dont like mixing meat and dairy do a chicken version or a meat version with rice meatballs.



  1. This looks nice, and how kind of your neighbours to share!

  2. What a lovely post. Can't wait to try all the lovely food in Gaziantep - when we ever make it there, that is! Never heard of this dish before but it looks really interesting.

  3. Turkish people have no problem in sharing food :)usually if you are given a plate of food you sent the plate back full of something different - so this can mean the plate never stops between hands.

    This is an annual dish Julia and most families seem to make the little rice koftes from a kilo of meat and freeze for the rest of the year what they dont eat during that week.