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Koupes is a street food we find in Cyprus and are served as a snack,  finger party food or as part of a  mezes dish.    Its crust is made of bulgur wheat, flour, oil, salt and egg (optional) and stuffed with ground meat, lots of onions, parsley and spices.  Actually the ones sold by street vendors were mostly with lots of onions and parsley and less minced meat.

One of the most usual place we used to find them as children, was on Sunday mornings outside the Church yards.  I am not sure if you can still find them outside churches but I know that they are now sold in supermarkets, in bakeries or in confectioneries and you can definitely find them at panigyria (fairs).

koupes shaping

In Cyprus you can find two kinds of bulgur wheat. One is for pilaf and the other one which is much thinner is only for koupes. I brought some with me, as the bulgur wheat I find in Greece is not very fine but next time I shall attempt and grind it in the spice grinder and make it like semolina and see how it works.

dolmades koupes corn on the cob grilled halloumi

I have tried several times to make them and this was my third attempt. The first was a total disaster and the second although they tasted good, they lacked appearance as they cracked during frying. After a few attemps I finally managed to make them.

frying koupes

The recipe is included in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!”, available on all Amazon stores.


You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook “More Than A Greek Salad”, and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” both available on all Amazon stores.


Other relevant recipes:

Vegan koupes with Mushroom or olives

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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8 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Ivy, I don’t think I’ve ever tried Koupes, noted and a future meze.

  2. Laurie Constantino

    This is a very common Arabic dish called kibbeh, kibbe, kubbah, kubbat, kofta, kofte, kufte. It is made all over the middle east, Armenians and Turks also make it a lot. As you say, it is difficult to make the thin shell hold together. I’ve often made a similar recipe as it is quite a tasty dish, though kind of a pain to make. Fine bulgur (size #1) is what you need to make this. I don’t know about putting larger bulgur in the spice grinder to make it like semolina – I think that would be too fine for kibbeh. But good luck if you decide to try it!

  3. Ivy

    Thanks Laurie for the information. I have already added a link which I found after your help.

  4. eva

    Hi Ivy,
    finaly i found recipe that i think will work..ihave a book in which they use only wheat without flour or egg..and no wonder the coupes never stayed together when i fried them..i shall try this very soon…thanks for posting

  5. Ivy

    Eva, don’t forget to wet your hands. I think that it is more important than the flour and the egg.

  6. mike

    I can't read the recipe, but we add an egg in the bulgar wheat. That keeps the koupes from opening up when they are getting fried.

  7. Nell Frary

    I bought these from a market stall at Larnaka market they were made by an old lady useing a family recipe they were the best thing i have ever tasted !!!

  8. the best koupes i have had was from my grandmother.. she raised the bar so high that no one so fur seems to get even close.yours look nice too..