Köfte, Sarma and Dolma in Turkish Cuisine
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Köfte, Sarma, Dolma in Turkish Cuisine: Types and Characteristics and Nutritional Value

The chief leafy vegetables used for sarma are vine leaves, cabbage, kale, chard and beet greens. In addition, they may be made from the leaves of various broad leaved herbs in the spring, or even mulberry leaves.

In some regions, sarma are also referred to as köfte. For example yoğurtlu köfte belongs to the sarma category,  as it is wrapped in parboiled leaves before it is cooked. On the other hand, red lentil köfte and kısır, a salad made from vegetables and fine bulgur, are often wrapped in vine leaves or lettuce after they are prepared.

Sarma and dolma are generally served with yogurt, ayran and hoşaf. In this way the meal contains representatives of all the main food groups.

The fillings for sarma and dolma eaten cold generally contain a relatively large of finely chopped onion, followed by rice, pine nuts sautéed in olive oil or vegetable oil, currants and other flavorings. They may be made of vine leaves, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, celeriac or leeks. Stuffed mussels and fish are also made.

The cold (zeytinyağlıdolma and sarma are usually served as a side dish rather than as a main course. They are also much served at picnics, cocktail and tea parties. As they do not have the protein and B vitamins supplied in the hot dolma and sarma, they are not as nutritious.

Table 1- Köfte according to type, ingredients, way served and region.
Name Main Ingredients How Served Main Region

Sarmsaklı köfte

(with garlic)
Fine bulgur, flour, garlic, parsley, vegetable oil Appetizer, with tea or with ayran İçel

Patlıcanlı Köfte

Cracked wheat, fine bulgur, eggplant, green pepper, tomatoes, onion, butter Common in summer, served with yogurt Malatya
Sıkma köfte Cracked wheat, onion, green pepper, butter, tomatoes All seasons, served with yogurt Malatya
Fırın yapması Fine bulgur, ground meat, onion, tomato and pepper paste, vegetable oil, mint, cumin Baked or fried, served with ayran Gaziantep
İçli köfte
(stuffed köfte)
Fine bulgur, ground meat, onion, walnuts, oil, spices, pepper paste 3 types: deep fried, boiled or baked Southeast Anaotolia, Malatya
Sini köfte (tray köfte) Fine bulgur, ground meat, potatoes, walnuts, veg. oil, black pepper Very popular, served with salad or yogurt Gaziantep,Urfa
Malhıtalı köfte Fine bultur, red lentils, onions, scallions, parsley, pepper paste, veg. oil (margarine), black and red pepper At lunch, with salad, ayran or pickles Gaziantep
Ekşili köfte Green lentils, spinach, cracked wheat, onion, margarine, sour plum molasses Served with onion or scallions Malatya
Ekşili köfte (sour köfte) Chickpeas, meat, fine bulgur, ground meat, rice, pepper and tomato paste, margarine, red and black pepper, green grape molasses As it is labor intensive, usually made for special days and guests Southeast  Anatolia, İçel. Also called “Analı Kızlı”
Batırık Southeast  Anatolia, İçel. Also called “Analı Kızlı” Served either as köfte or watered down as soup. Ermenek, Mut, Silifke, Karaman
Cimdik Köftesi Cracked wheat, fine bulgur, spinach, garlic, yogurt, margarine Takes its name from the way it’s made, pinching between the fingers Malatya
Göce Köftesi Fine bulgur, flour, yogurt, mint, tomato paste, garlic, red pepper As a main dish at lunch Afyon
Yoğurtlu ufak Köfte Chickpeas, small pieces of meat, fine bulgur In Ramadan it is made with rice instead of bulgur. Served as a main dish. Gaziantep, K. Maraş
Kadınbudu Köfte Ground meat, rice, egg, onion, clarified butter, red pepper, cinnamon Main dish Generally made in cities.
İzmir Köfte Ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, onion, parsley, potatoes, tomatoes, oil Main dish Generally made in cities.
Şiş Köfte Ground meat, bread crumbs, eggs, grated onion, parsley, flour, black pepper Generally in cities, for picnics. Plain or on pide, with yogurt. Generally made in cities
Kuru  Köfte Same as şiş köfte, but fried or baked Served as a main dish, with fried potatoes. Generally made in cities
Cızbız Köfte Ground meat, grated onion, black pepper, clarified butter Also known by other names such as İnegöl köftesi Generally made in cities
Hasan Paşa Köftesi Ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, butter, black pepper, onions, potatoes, milk, tomato paste Made in cup shape and filled with potato puree and baked. Main dish. Generally made for guests.
Terbiyeli Köfte Ground meat, rice, parsley, onion, flour, black pepper, lemon, eggs Served as a soup, main dish Southern and eastern regions.
Rulo Köfte Ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, black pepper, tomato paste, carrots Köfte mixture is made into a roll stuffed with carrots and topped with boiled egg, baked. Generally made for guests
Yoğurtlu Köfte Vine or other leaves, cracked wheat, onion, margarine, red pepper, flour, yogurt, sour plum molasses Main dish Malatya



Table 2- Hot Sarma ve Dolma
Stuffed pepper (eggplant) Stuffing peppers, ground meat, rice (bulgur), tomatoes (or paste), parsley, spices, in winter, dry vegetables are used Main dish or second course after soup Turkey-wide
Stuffed celeriac Celeriac, ground meat, rice, parsley, dill, spices, onion, butter (margarine) Main dish or second course after soup Aegean region
Mixed dolma Dolma filling, vegetables such as eggplant, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, onion Main dish or second course after soup


Stuffed leeks Leeks ground meat, rice, parsley, dill, butter (margarine) Main dish or second course after soup

Aegean region




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