Cypriot Keftedes (6)

I was reminded how delicious these meatballs are on a recent visit to the island. I was served a very generous portion which I managed to devour in a restaurant in Platres. They are also very good served cold the following day. This recipe is from ” Home Food” by Olia Hercules.Serve with a salad or stuffed into a pitta with some shredded lettuce, ripe tomatoes , sliced red onions and green pepper, grated feta and tzatziki.

Cypriot Keftedes (6)
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Cypriot Keftedes (6)
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  1. Grate the potato on the coarse side of a box grater, then squeeze it in a sieve placed over a bowl, reserving the liquid.
  2. Grate the onions coarsely then place in another bowl and tip in the potato. Mix in the minced meat, mint, cinnamon, parsley and eggs Add 1 1/2 tsps salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  3. Use your hands to mix everything together very well. You can also scrape at the bottom of the potato water, lifting out the starch and adding to the mix. The more you manipulate the mixture the better it will bind together.
  4. At this point you can use the mix straightaway, leave covered for an hour or so or put it in the fridge overnight. If you do refrigerate allow the mixture to return to room temperature before frying.
  5. Before shaping the keftedes wet your hands. Shape into slightly oblongish shapes, each weighing 55-60 g.
  6. Traditionally these are deep fried but here they are shallow fried. Preheat the oven to 180 Fan. Have a plate lined with kitchen paper at the ready.
  7. Fill a deepish and wide frying pan with oil to come 1-2 cm up the sides. Heat the oil until it is hot enough that if you pinch a bit off the keftedes and throw it in it sizzles immediately.
  8. Fry in batches, 6 at a time, over a medium heat on three sides until golden brown. This should take 7-8 minutes for each batch. Reduce the heat if you feel they are colouring too much. Put on a lined tray in the oven while you fry the rest. When they are all cooked put on the lined plate to drain excess oil.
  9. To make the Tzatziki first cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Grate the cucumber coarsely and add to the yoghurt. Grate the garlic finely and add that too. Season and serve with the keftedes.
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