500g minced lamb
6 spring onions, thinly sliced, 2 reserved for garnish
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
1 heaped teaspoon pul biber chilli flakes
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 heaped teaspoon dried mint
1 small packet (about 30g) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, some reserved for garnish
1 small packet (about 30g) dill, finely chopped, some reserved for garnish
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
vegetable oil, for frying
250g Greek yoghurt
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
50g butter
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon pul biber chilli flakes

While this isn’t a Turkish recipe, a lot of what I create is inspired by flavours and techniques used in Turkish, Persian and Middle Eastern cuisines. I prefer to make smallish meatballs for this recipe, but you can make them bigger if you like. These are lovely served with small pasta shapes, such as orzo, or rice or pillowy bread.

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1.Put the minced lamb, spring onions, garlic, spices, dried mint, fresh herbs and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl and season very generously with salt and pepper.
2.Use your hands to work the ingredients together really well until you have an evenly combined smooth paste, then roll the mixture into 35–40 balls.
3.Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper.
4.Once the pan is hot, add the meatballs and fry on one side for 3–4 minutes, then turn and fry on the other side for 3–4 minutes before shaking the pan to finish frying the other sides.
5.Meanwhile, put the yoghurt into a saucepan, season with salt and pepper and heat gently (to avoid curdling) until hot, then remove from the heat.
6.Melt the butter with the dried mint and pul biber in a small saucepan.
7.Once the meatballs are cooked, transfer to the paper-lined plate to drain, then place them on a platter, pour over the yoghurt and drizzle with the butter.
8.Scatter with the reserved spring onions and chopped herbs to serve.

An edited extract from
Flavour by Sabrina
Ghayour, Octopus
Books, $49.99.
Photography copyright
© Kris Kirkham 2023