Cyprus Passion

If you’re looking for a tasty and satisfying snack, then Cypriot Koupes should definitely be on your list. These delicious finger foods are a staple in the Mediterranean island country of Cyprus and are often enjoyed as a breakfast item, a midday snack, or even as part of a meze platter.

Koupes are essentially bulgur wheat shells filled with a savory mixture of pork mince (or ground beef or lamb), onions, and spices. They are then deep-fried to a golden brown and served hot, making them a perfect snack for any time of day.

The below recipe has been inspired by Nikoletta’s Kitchen. You can check the original recipe from Nikoletta’s Kitchen here.

Here’s a step-by-step recipe on how to make Cypriot Koupes at home:

For the shell, you will need:

  • 2 cups fine bulgur wheat

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the filling, you will need:

  • 500g pork mince

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

cypriot koupes

Making the shell:

In a heatproof bowl, mix together 2 cups of fine bulgur wheat, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Pour 2 cups of boiling water into the bowl and mix everything together with a fork.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture cool completely.

Making the filling:

Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and add 4 tbsp of olive oil.

  1. Add 500g of pork mince to the pan and fry until browned, breaking it up into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon while it’s cooking.

  2. Once the meat is browned, add water and simmer for 4-5 minutes until you have about 2-3 tbsp of liquid left.

  3. Separate the juices from the mincemeat in a separate bowl (you’ll use this for the dough).

  4. Transfer the meat into a bowl and add the chopped onions into the frying pan with another 4 tbsp of olive oil.

  5. Allow the onions to cook over low heat for approximately 20 minutes until they have turned a rich golden color, stirring occasionally

  6. Add the meat back into the pan with the onions and add 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of pepper.

  7. Fry for a couple of minutes and then simmer gently on low heat, stirring until well combined.

  8. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 bunch of finely chopped parsley. Mix well and let it cool.

Making the koupes:

  1. Start kneading the cooled bulgur wheat mixture by hand or with a standing mixer using the dough hook.

  2. Gradually add flour and continue kneading until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

  3. With a wet finger, poke a hole through the center of a small handful of dough and tease the dough down to make a shell.

  4. Using a teaspoon, add filling to the shell after each spoonful, pushing it in with the back of a spoon or a chopstick.

  5. Fill the shell up, leaving about half an inch at the top. Pinch and seal the end with a drop of water and shape using the ends of your palms to make a pointy end.

  6. Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough and filling.

  7. Fill a pan with vegetable oil, enough to cover the koupes entirely and place on high heat.

  8. Carefully add the koupes using a slotted spoon to avoid oil splashback and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

  9. Remove the koupes with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate with kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

  10. Serve warm with lemoni. Enjoy!

Making Cypriot koupes is a rewarding culinary experience, but it’s not an easy one. It requires patience, practice, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out perfect – even experienced cooks sometimes struggle with this traditional dish.

If you have any recommendations for how we could improve this recipe, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us via social media or email at We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you’ll enjoy making and sharing this beloved Cypriot delicacy with your family and friends