Köfte is ground meat (usually lamb or mutton) mixed with crumbled bread, minced onions and spices, shaped into little cylinders and cooked.
The most common form of the dish is Izgara Köfte, grilled köfte, usually garnished with sliced onions, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika, and served with yogurt and a pile of fresh Turkish sourdough bread.
A good drink to sip while eating ızgara köfte is ayran (yogurt blended with water and a pinch of salt).
Şiş köfte is a variant in which the köfte is pressed onto a flat skewer (şiş) and grilled. Same stuff, different shape.
Salçalı köfte is köfte simmered in a savory sauce (usually tomato).
İzmirli köfte is a vegetable stew with köfte-style meatballs.
Peynirli köfte is a variant in which cheese is added to the köfte mix, enhancing the flavor.
İnegöl, a town east of Bursa, is famous for its super-succulent köfte. The succulence comes from an abundance of fat, which tastes great but is not so good for your arteries.
—by Tom Brosnahan