Keftedakia with Yogurt Sauce

Photo by Dimitris Drisas Since I’m Swedish, the fact that I love meatballs shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. 

this article Serve me any kind of meatballs really, and I’m happy. Swedish meatballs with gravy, Italian meatballs and spaghetti, vegetarian meatballs, Moroccan turkey meatballs with raisins and chickpeas, Spanish elbondigas with sliced chorizo, or these Greek meatballs (keftedakia) with a fresh yogurt sauce – I love them all. So what’s special about the Greek meatball? Two things: 

  1. They are flavored with fresh herbs. I use mint and parsley.
  2. They are deep fried.
  3. Ok, there are three things; They kick ass.

I could have named this site the meatball. Why didn’t I name this site the meatball?

Photo by Dimitris Drisas
Keftedakia with Yogurt Sauce
Traditional Greek meatballs served with yogurt sauce and lemon.
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1.1 lb (500 g) minced beef, room-tempered
  2. 1 medium sized onion, grated (juiced discarded)
  3. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  4. 1 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp. good, dried oregano
  7. 1 egg
  8. about 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (or as needed)
  9. salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. vegetable oil, for frying
  11. lemon wedges, for serving
for the yogurt sauce
  1. 1 cup Greek yogurt
  2. 1/3 cucumber, grated
  3. salt
  4. 1 tbsp fresh mint, minced
  5. a few drops of red wine vinegar
  6. a splash of olive oil
  1. Mix together the minced meat, onon, garlic, herbs, egg, salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs as needed until you have a batter that's not too sticky to shape into balls.
  2. Roll large meatballs and set aside. (If you want, at this point, you can roll your meatballs in flour to achieve a fluffy fried surface - though I prefer visible meat.)
  3. Heat your frying oil. Check the temperature by frying a small piece of bread - when it turns golden and crispy but doesn't burn, it's time to fry.
  4. Fry your meatballs a few at a time. When they're done, remove using a slotted spoon and let dry on a few paper towels.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and yogurt sauce.
To make the yogurt sauce
  1. Start by grating your cucumber and mixing it with salt in a colander. Let it sit for about half an hour to draw the water out of the cucumber. Then squeeze to remove the liquid.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce, and chill in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
  1. All that's missing from this yogurt sauce to count as tzatziki is garlic. Add as much as you can handle!

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