Tourkakia is one of the traditional delicacies we first ate in Sparta. Fragrant offal from goat or lamb wrapped in caul fat, grilled over charcoal and served as appetizers.
In the Ionian islands they are know as “frigadelia” (see update below).
We had a wonderful time during Easter. Our children came to Assini from Athens and spent Easter day with our neighbours.
We Greeks, love offal and cook them in many ways. One of the best ways to try them is grilled over charcoal but a gas grill will do as well.
I know that many of you may be grossed, just by hearing the word “offal” but trust me you should try them. The taste is amazing!
You can’t even say that this is a recipe because it is so simple to make. You only need some lamb or goat liver, lungs, sweetbreads, etc., and caul fat.
All you have to do is season them with salt, pepper and oregano, wrap them in caul fat and then grill them.
As the leftover caul fat from Easter grilling was not enough, we just skewered the remaining offal with some leftover caul fat in between each piece.
The original ones are wrapped in small parcels with the cal fat and then grilled. These were also delicious but the other ones were even tastier as the fat melts through the offal, adding extra taste.
What are Tourkakia?
Tourkakia, literally mean little Turks. This is a meze dish we learned in Sparta.
Although I asked some of the locals who introduced us to this wonderful dish, they didn’t know why they are called so.
I searched the internet to see if I could find a similar recipe with information but unfortunately, I did not find either. The only recipe I found with the name Tourkakia were some fiery cured little peppers.
There is an expression in Greek “Ginomai Tourkos” which means I become a Turk, when someone becomes angry and fiery, usually, out of anger.
I am not sure of their origin but my presumption is that may be the original recipe was fiery.
In any case, these are so finger licking delicious!
We grilled some on Easter Monday. Although, we still had some leftover lamb and kokoretsi from Sunday, it was our son’s name day and made some as a supplement to what was leftover.
Update May 2019:
Many years later, we visited a “thrakotraverna” (all grill restaurant) in Nafplio and the owner offered us a delicacy called “frigadelia”. To our surprise this was exactly the same as “tourkakia”.
I asked if it was a local delicacy and the owner told us that this is a delicacy originates in Lefkada island but it is served all over Greece.
- Lamb offal (liver, lungs, sweetbread, heart), from 1 lamb or goat, cut into pieces
- 1 lamb caul fat
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon Juice
- Place the offal in a pot with hot water, add some vinegar or lemon juice and allow them to soak for ten minutes. Drain and refill the pot with fresh cold water. Rinse and drain.
- Cut them into small pieces, about 4 x 4 cm and season them with salt, pepper and oregano.
- Put a little bit of everything on the caul fat and wrap them once to enclose the offal. Cut the caul fat and continue.
- Thread these little parcels on two skewers or on a grill.
- Preheat your gas or charcoal grill. When the charcoal is ready, put them on the grill and cook on all sides until, golden and crispy.
- Serve with some lemon juice and parsley on top.
Tourkakia is one of the traditional delicacies we first ate in Sparta. Fragrant offal from goat or lamb wrapped in caul fat and grill over charcoal.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 113Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 67mgSodium 69mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 15g
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,