Sömelek Meatball Recipe: A Flavorful Dish You Must Try

If you haven’t tried Sömelek Meatballs yet, you’re in for a treat. This delightful dish combines fine bulgur and ground beef with a medley of spices to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. Perfectly complemented by a tangy tomato sauce and garlic yogurt topping, these meatballs are sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. Let’s get started!


To make Sömelek Meatballs, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Fine Bulgur: 1 cup
  • Boiling Water: 1.5 cups
  • Semolina: 1 cup minus one finger-width
  • Tomato Paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Flour: 2.5 tablespoons
  • Egg: 1
  • Ground Beef: 150 grams
  • Salt: 1.5 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water (for kneading): 2-3 tablespoons

For the Sauce:

  • Vegetable Oil: About 1/4 cup
  • Tomato Paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Water (from boiling meatballs): 1/2 ladle

For the Topping:

  • Garlic Yogurt: Small bowl
  • Oil (heated with red chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes): 2-3 tablespoons


Follow these steps to prepare your Sömelek Meatballs:

Prepare the Bulgur

  1. Soak the Bulgur: In a large bowl, add the fine bulgur. Pour 1.5 cups of boiling water over the bulgur and cover. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes until the bulgur is soft and the water is absorbed.

Mix Ingredients

  1. Combine Ingredients: To the softened bulgur, add the semolina, tomato paste, flour, egg, ground beef, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Mix to combine. Gradually add 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed to form a smooth and pliable dough.

Shape Meatballs

  1. Form Meatballs: Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into small oblong meatballs.

Cook Meatballs

  1. Boil Meatballs: Boil water in a pot. Gently drop the meatballs into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Make the Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to sizzle. Pour in 1/2 ladle of the water used to boil the meatballs and stir to create a smooth sauce.

Combine and Serve

  1. Assemble the Dish: Arrange the boiled meatballs on a serving plate. Pour the prepared sauce over the meatballs. Top with garlic yogurt and drizzle the heated oil with chili powders over the top.

Garnish and Serve

  1. Final Touch: Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired and serve warm.

Tips for Success

  • Proper Mixing: Ensure all ingredients are well combined for a smooth and cohesive meatball mixture.
  • Gentle Boiling: Gently drop the meatballs into boiling water to prevent them from breaking apart.
  • Flavorful Sauce: Use the water from boiling the meatballs to add depth of flavor to the sauce.

Health Benefits

Sömelek Meatballs are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients:

  • Protein-Rich: Ground beef and egg provide a good source of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Fiber: Bulgur is a whole grain high in fiber, aiding in digestion and helping you feel full longer.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The spices and vegetables add essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.
  • Probiotics: The garlic yogurt topping adds a dose of probiotics, beneficial for gut health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can substitute ground beef with ground chicken, turkey, or lamb according to your preference.

Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?

You can make a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and adding more bulgur or using cooked lentils.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a skillet or oven before serving.

Can I freeze the meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze the uncooked meatballs. Arrange them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Cook from frozen or thaw in the refrigerator before boiling.


Sömelek Meatballs are a wonderful dish that combines the flavors of fine bulgur, ground beef, and aromatic spices. This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for any occasion and will impress your family and friends. Enjoy the delightful taste and satisfying texture of these meatballs, and be sure to share this amazing recipe with others!

Read Also: Homemade Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce: A Family Favorite Recipe

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