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Shfta – Fried meatballs

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I have no idea what to call this in English, thus just calling it fried meatballs. If anyone has got a better word for it, then let me know.

Shfta is one of those dishes that my mum didn’t make too much of, so I had a tendency to forget it existed until she suddenly made it. It’s extremely yummy and it’s perfect travel/lunch food.

Shfta is also difficult to make, and this was only my second try. It was edible, and it might even have been classified as good to people that doesn’t know what I was trying to make, but in my eyes it failed completely.  I’m still going to show the images, as the way I did it was correct, it was just a few errors along the way.

This recipe is me observing my mum and a quick recite from my dad. One of the first mistakes was that I thought “karawz” was coriander, which you see in the image, but it’s actually celery leaves.

Take the meat (400g or so) and mix it together with the onion and the celery leaves. Throw in some salt and pepper and a couple of full spoons of tomato puré. Mix it to the point where the meat doesn’t look minced anymore.

You also need to throw in 3-4 spoons of flour to keep it from falling apart when frying them.

Make one single ball and fry it to see if the taste is good and if it sticks together. I ended up making them much flatter than the top picture cos they weren’t cooking all the way through without getting dry. But when I did make them thinner, they ended up falling apart even tho I had enough flour.

Like I said, they did end up good enough, but not like the Kurdish shfta I wanted to make. Can anyone tell me what I’ve done wrong or what to do differently to get it better next time? Tell me your recipes!


About Sophie

I'm a happy go lucky girl without the ability to relax. I love everything colorful and creative! Send me an email on if you feel the need to contact me. :-)

12 responses »

  1. Avin Rostami

    it looks good, nam love shfta :) I don’t use flour at all, but I have sometime added some potato flour or just grated potato.

    they look good, actually those great pictures made me hungry NOW! but I recommend using less onion and use grated onion instead of minced because the onion will be more mixed with the ground beef. I use to leave the mix after having mixing with hands, and wait about 15 minutes:)

    good luck

    • Thanks for the comment!

      Grated potato keeps the shfta from falling apart? I tried one without the flour, but it basically just dissolved in the oil. And grated onion; check! Will definitely do that next time. Do you use the celery stick or just the leaves by the way?

      I really want them to turn out really good. :)

  2. Avin Rostami

    :) yes grated potato’s will keep the shfta from falling apart and I do use celery sometime , but only the leaves, because the celery stick is to hard and it will not get mixed well with the meet;)

    hope you will make a post about it next time you try again, but really they look booth nice and good! well done:)

  3. u welcome:) look forward to see the result :D

  4. Avin Rostami

    Hei sophie, tenkte å dele min shifte oppskrift med deg her:)

  5. Thanks u guys.. i was looking for a recipe to make shfta as i love shfta.. this website help me to make it.. thank u

  6. Hello Sophie! Great recipe! I was watching my husbands mum in Kurdistan when she was making- what she called- kefta.
    1/4 -1/2 kg minced beef (lean would be better)
    garlic cloves
    all vegetables grated!!
    tomatoe puree
    haldi powder (kurdish alat zert)
    self rising flour (found plain flour to make mixture mushy and runny)
    leave the mixture in fridge for 30 mins

  7. Hi sophie,
    are these parsley or celery leaves?

  8. Hi,thanks for the recipe.I really like your blog, well done.I want to share with you how I make shfta, which always comes tasty and not falling apart as it was at the beginning of my journey.For one kilo minced meat, I grated 4 potatoes, one onion, one tomato, 2 courgettes, a bunch of karawz; dried or fresh finely chopped, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, 4 spoons of flour, salt , pepper, cumin powder to taste.Mix it all and fry it.


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