Soutzoukakia politika giaourtlou (meatballs with yogurt sauce)

Two are the most famous soutzoukakia from the East: from Smyrna and from Constantinople (Poli). There are almost the same with a few twigs to the spices but they differ greatly in the cooking way. Those from Smyrna (smyrneika soutzoukakia) are first fried and then cooked in tomato sauce while those from Constantinople (politika soutzoukakia) require grilling on the grilling grate and a refreshing yogurt sauce to balance out the strong cumin flavor. They are also usually served with chopped parsley and diced tomato. So let’s see this flavored packed recipe for politika soutzoukakia on the grilling grate and on rotation.

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  • 1 kg beef mince (chuck)
  • 0,5 kg mutton mince (rump with some fat)
  • 350 g mutton fat
  • 36 g salt
  • 2 g peppercorns (green and black)
  • 3 g wild cumin
  • 1 g fenugreek
  • 1 g allspice
  • 150 g bread crumb soaked in Mavrodaphne wine
  • 3 cloves of garlic (pulped)
  • Sumac for serving

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 250 g Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 0,5 g white pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp strong garlic oil (4 cloves of garlic/40ml olive oil)
  • 40 ml full fat milk

For serving:

  • Ripe diced tomatoes
  • Parsley leaves coarsely cut
  • Sumac


During your first kneading session, mix the minces with the fat. Then, add to the mince the garlic with the bread previously soaked in the Mavrodaphne wine. Mix them well and knead with folding. Lastly, add the spices and salt gradually and knead them once more by constantly folding the mince. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and then shape oblong soutzoukakia, 35 g (1.2 oz) each.

For the sauce, add all the ingredients into the yogurt except for the milk. Mix them with a whisk and add the milk last, very gradually. Stir to soften the yogurt and until the sauce gains a mayonnaise-like texture. Keep it in the fridge.

COOKED ON amber.q A charcoal grills

amber.q A charcoal grills


Pile up the charcoals inside the charcoal case of your grill. Place the kindling on top and light them. The charcoals light upside down, from top to bottom, easily, quickly, and without smoke. When the charcoals are fully lit, spread them inside the charcoal case in order to grill over medium to strong heat. Grill the politika soutzoukakia on all four sides on your grilling grate. You can also grill them in the small spits by skewering them alongside the spit. Grill very close to the charcoals in auto-rotation or rotate them manually until they are fully grilled on all four sides. Careful to not over grill them so they turn out juicy.

We recommend serving them on a plate alongside the yogurt sauce, onions, tomatoes, and parsley. Springle them all with 1-2 pinches of sumac and you’re ready to go!

Happy Grilling, everyone!

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