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Greek Meatballs. “Keftedakia.” ©

October 4, 2012




Greek Keftedakia, when well made are the ultimate treat! They are filled with flavor, and are either eaten hot or cold, both are equally delicious.

Children love them and if you were lucky enough to have one of those wonderfully capable Greek ladies, helping out in the kitchen,or a ‘Super’ Mum, you will be smelling them as I speak! Most children in Greece, smell the frying, come into the kitchen, pinch a few and get deliciously scolded into the process!

There are two sizes, the party and picnic size, about the size of a walnut and the larger ones the size of  a satsuma, which they serve in tavernas along with equally delicious, real hand cut, fried potato chips……..

This is the basic recipe and I use veal, but lean lamb can also be used and pork or a mixture of the two. The standard meat used in Greece, is Mosxari/Veal. In England you would use minced beef.

This is especially for my three children and for all the ‘Keftedakia’ lovers out there!




First buy your perfect picnic basket…..everything remains upright in this one!

Then make your delicious picnic……From left to right, Gouda Cheese Strips, Courgette Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing, Potato Salad with Mayonnaise, Sausages and KEFTEDAKIA…….. Peach and melon fruit salad to follow and CHOCOLATE CAPRICE !!!!!

Easy and very delicious!



6-10 persons



Preparation Time: 3/4 hour







 3/4 kilo, good quality minced beef or veal, no fat!

1/4 loaf village bread, crusts removed

1 whole egg

1 onion finely grated

2-3 large cloves of garlic finely grated

2 tbs mint and parsley and or oregano

1 tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper

4-6 tbs seasoned flour

Olive Oil for frying 300 ml or more

Parsley sprig for decoration



1. Place the fresh mince meat in a large bowl. ( Always store mince in the refrigerator and use the same day.)

2. Soak bread in water briefly, 1 minute, remove crusts and squeeze out water. Add to mince.

3. Add 1 whole egg and finely grated onion and garlic. Use fine holes on  grater.

4. Finely chop fresh herbs, add to mince and season. The herbs can be dried too, if fresh are not available.

5. Mix mince mixture until thoroughly blended adding a dash of olive oil. If the mixture sticks to your hands add a little more oil.

6. In a large roasting tin sprinkle your flour and season with salt and pepper.

7. Using a teaspoon, place a small portion of mince in the oiled palm of your hand and roll into small rounds between your two palms. Roll in seasoned flour and leave resting on a large plate, until you have used up all the mixture. Do not heat the oil and start frying, until you have reached this point.

8. Place oil in sauce pan, preferably with a small circumference, so that the oil is deep enough, to nearly cover your meat balls when you gently lower them in using a slotted spoon. Be generous with the oil, at least an inch/3 cm deep, they fry so much better this way and you can do about four or five at a time. See picture.


IMPORTANT :When heating oil, NEVER  leave your oil unattended!!!! Test with a small cube of bread, it should sizzle rapidly when you put it in. At this point you can begin frying. Don’t get it so hot that the oil smokes. If during cooking the oil is getting too hot, turn down a little.

9. Fry meat balls in batches until golden,using a slotted spoon, place in bowl lined with kitchen paper to drain.

10. Taste for salt and sprinkle on a little more if necessary. Remove kitchen paper, decorate with a sprig of parsley and serve.

Also excellent cold or served in home made tomato sauce.

N.B. Always when frying, have the a pan lid, close at hand, in case of fire!

All kitchens should have a fire blanket for safety!

Some children are put off by seeing the green herbs in the meatballs, in which case blend herbs in herb blender until creamy….

For those who are avoiding fried food, the meatballs can be baked in the oven. Omit the rolling in the flour and place meatballs on an oiled baking tray. Cook in pre-heated oven at 170-200.C  for 25-30 minutes. Try for doneness. When baking in the oven, it is best to make them a little larger. The oven version are perfect for combining with tomato sauce.


Place all your ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Mix ingredients thoroughly.

Wash and oil your hands and using a teaspoon as a measure, roll the mince into small balls.

Roll in seasoned flour and place on floured plate.

Here I have used a large based saucepan, filled it about 3 cm deep with oil and I am frying a large batch at a time. If it is your first time, I would recommend a smaller saucepan and fry about five at a time. Using two forks, turn your meatballs over, as they begin to colour. Once ready remove using a slotted spoon into a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Have the heat high enough so that the oil is continuously bubbling.

Perfect for a summer picnic! from left to right, Sausages, Cheese strips, Tuna Pasta, Eggs with oil and marjoram, KEFTEDAKIA !….Village Crusty Bread.

Greece, Summer, Keftedakia……heaven!






2 Comments leave one →
  1. jtaptas permalink
    October 4, 2012 9:56 am



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