Kofteli Ayran Corbasi – Yogurt Soup with Meatballs


  • 1/2 cup barley or hulled wheat
  • 2 Tbs. dried mint or fresh cilantro
  • 3 cups water
  • additional water
  • 1 and 1/3 cups yogurt (reg., low, or non-fat)
  • salt to taste
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • meatballs
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • sauce
  • 1 can of beef or chicken broth or 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced


Ahead of time, place the barley or wheat in a 2 quart saucepan with water, and cook until grain is quite soft, but not mushy (One to one-and-a-half hours). Cool and drain off excess water. Make a paste of the yogurt, flour, and salt, and stir into the pan of barley. Add broth or bouillon cubes. If using bouillon, add about 2 cups of water as well. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Turn off heat. In a frypan, saute the onions in oil until transparent. Add mint or cilantro and stir-fry until onions are browned. Add this mixture to the soup with additional water, salt to taste, and the meatballs. Bring to a boil again and cook 15 minutes. If desired, serve with the sauce drizzled into each bowl.

Meatballs: With a 1/2 cup of ground beef and salt to taste, make small (1/2 inch) meatballs. Use water on your hands as you form them so they are less sticky.

Sauce: Melt 3 Tbs. oil or butter in a small pan or microwave. Stir in 1 Tbs. hungarian paprika or mild red pepper flakes and heat one minute more.

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