The first time I made Chebureki…

Around age four or five, my grandmother asked if I wanted to learn how to make her famous Chebureki, a type of Crimean-originated Turkish deep-fried, ground beef-filled pastry. Dying to know the secret behind her exquisite recipe, I enthusiastically agreed.

From my perch on the counter, I mimicked her exact movements. My grandmother grated an onion and sifted flour into a large bowl to make the dough. I helped by mixing the onion, salt, pepper and minced beef with my hands. 

Everything went according to plan until she cracked an egg on the counter. A bit confused, I held the egg in my little hands and cracked it open on my head. After washing away the sticky egg, my grandmother waited a few years for me to mature before resuming our Chebureki lesson.

Chebureki: A love language

To my family, this recipe is more than a delicious set of instructions. Chebureki days were always a cause for celebration, given their amazing taste and how infrequently they were served.

The game my mother invented inspired by my grandmother’s recipe is a testament to its importance in my family. Whenever I missed Chebureki or needed cheering up, my mother would tap my head as if cracking an egg, playfully squeeze my cheeks to mimic kneading dough and make me into a Chebureki. My transformation into the perfect pastry brought joy and laughter, almost as much as eating the real thing.

My grandmother put so much time and effort into preparing this dish, it was a token of her love. The dough and filling she made from scratch never failed to fill us with joy. Now well into her 80s, my grandmother doesn't get into the kitchen as often, but we still made Chebureki together right before I left for college. It was a memorable and cherished experience for both of us.

Is it worth the effort?

In short, absolutely. Though it takes my Turkish grandmother hours to make Chebureki, the exorbitant effort is clear from the first bite; the soft crunch of the fried dough, the juicy drippings of beef, the unbeatable balance between the airy and rich components. 

With a name that translates to "tasty pastry" in Crimean Tartar language, Chebureki really is that good. For your own phenomenal, meaty indulgence, try your hand at my grandmother's traditional recipe.


  • Prep Time:2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Total Time:2 hrs 50 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Medium


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 300 grams ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup oil
Deniz Yoruk
  • Step 1

    Sift 3 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt into a large bowl. Crack one egg on top of the dry ingredients.

  • Step 2

    Slowly add 1 cup of warm water to the dry mixture, along with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar. Knead the dough until no longer sticky.

  • Step 3

    Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rest for one hour.

  • Step 4

    While the dough rests, grate a large onion in a mixing bowl.

  • Step 5

    Add half cup of water, salt, pepper and ground beef into a large bowl and combine well.

  • Step 6

    Take a walnut-sized piece of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until 7-8 inches in diameter. Use extra flour to prevent sticking.

  • Step 7

    Add one tablespoon of the meat filling to the dough and distribute evenly using your hands.

  • Step 8

    Put water along the edges of the dough and fold the dough in half into a semicircle. Pinch the dough around the edges to seal.

  • Step 9

    Heat oil and deep fry the Cheburekis for 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway, until both sides are golden brown. Serve fresh for guaranteed deliciousness!