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Kiftes de Prasa, Macedonian Leek and Meat Patties

April 07, 2021
Photos: Dan AllenPhotos: Dan Allen

In Macedonia—both the Balkan state and the northern section of Greece—leeks grow as plentifully as onions, so there are many leek dishes from this region. In particular, Jews from Macedonia wax nostalgic about leek kofta, as these patties are known locally, made with lamb, beef, or potatoes and cheese.

Featured in: Fry Up Something New for Hanukkah

Great for: Hanukkah


  • ¼cup olive oil plus oil for frying, divided
  • 6large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 2 ¼teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste, divided
  • ½teaspoon black pepper
  • 2pounds chopped lamb, beef, or boiled potatoes (see NOTE)
  • 3large eggs
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½teaspoon allspice
  • ¼teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½cup chopped parsley to taste
  • ½cup matzo meal
Yield: 12 patties


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and rub a large-rimmed baking sheet with a little of the oil. Toss the leeks with more oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and half the pepper. Spread the leeks out in a single layer (use a second baking sheet if necessary) and roast, tossing frequently, until golden brown and crisp at the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

  • Step 2

    Chop the leeks and mix with the meat or potato, eggs, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, parsley, matzo meal, and remaining salt and pepper. Form into 12 patties, roughly 3 inches wide. Heat a frying pan with a thin film of oil. Brown the patties until golden on each side, making sure they cook through.

  • NOTE: If substituting potatoes for the meat, add a little Parmesan cheese to the potatoes for some extra flavor.