Servings: 4 · Prep Time: 20 mins · Cooking Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins


This recipe for these Cypriot spiced meatballs is from my friend Soulla and her mum Gloria Mylonas. I was raving about sheftalia after returning home from a holiday in Cyprus and they showed me how to make them. Traditionally the meatballs are wrapped in caul meat which keeps them together and adds fat. It is tricky to get hold of and takes longer to make so this is my version with all the flavour in a fraction of the time. It is a good idea to use a mixture of lean and fatty meat to give flavour and keep them juicy.


The Sheftalia

  • Minced Meat (500g)
  • Onion
  • Parsley (25g)
  • Egg
  • Mint (10 leaves)
  • Salt (1 heaped teaspoon)
  • Ground Cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • Black Pepper (plenty)
  • Lemon


  • Cucumber (1 (150g))
  • Full Fat Greek Yogurt (100g)
  • Mint (2 tbsp)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tsp)


Heat your grill to hot. Use your hands to mix the ingredients for the sheftalia together in a bowl until well blended. Test the seasoning and flavouring by making up a small patty of the mixture about the size of a walnut and flatten it. Fry this patty in a little oil in a small frying pan until cooked through. Taste the patty and adjust the rest of the mixture accordingly.

Traditionally sheftalia are grilled on skewers on a barbecue so do try this or cook indoors with your grill on high.

Now pick up a ball of the mixture about the size of a small tangerine (apx 60g each). Roll and press the ball together between your palms as if your hands are in prayer until you have an elongated ball, similar in shape to a rugby ball. Rest this on a chopping board while you make up the rest. Put the sheftalia onto a rack and grill fairly high to the heat source for around 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Turn once during cooking.

Ingredient Tips:
. 500g minced meat such as lamb, beef, pork or a mixture of them
. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
. 25g parsley, stalks and leaves, finely chopped
. 10g large leaves of mint, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons dried mint

Per serving of sheftalia: 2.5g net carbs, 0.5g fibre, 33.2g protein, 18.8g fat, 313kcal


Recipes vary hugely for tzatziki using dried oregano. Do swap this for fresh mint or dill as you wish.

To make the tzatziki mix the cucumber with half a teaspoon salt in a sieve and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Squeeze the cucumber to get rid of any excess water and mix with the yoghurt, mint and garlic in a bowl. Season to taste and put into a bowl with the olive oil on top and a twist of black pepper. Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.

Per serving of tsatsiki: 2.7g net carbs, 0.7g fibre, 1.5g protein, 3.8g fat, 50kcal

Ingredient Tips:
150g long English cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
100g thick, full fat Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1 fat clove garlic, grated