Red lentil kofte, Mercimek Köftesi in the original language, is a very popular appetizer in Turkey. I never thought how versatile lentils could be. For me lentils were only an ingredient for soup… oops! My Swedish friends (Turks in fact) introduced them to me. I was a bit cautious at the first look of them. For some reason I thought they were made using raw meat which I am not very keen on. After being told they were made 100% with veggies and spices I then decided to try and give a small bite… and that was the first of many many many others till I could only see the lettuce leaves laying on the plate. So, why don’t you try them and judge for yourself?
Red Lentil Kofte
Number of People: 4
Delicious and nutrient appetizer.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup fine bulgur wheat
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups of water
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste (if you cannot find red pepper paste you can use 1 tbsp tomato paste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 bunch parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch green onion finely chopped
- curly leaf lettuce
- Wash lentils and boil them in 2 cups of water until it almost soaks the water. Once you turn it off, add bulgur and salt. Mix once and cover to let the bulgur expand. Let it cool off.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the onion (not the green one!) and cook until soft.
- Add tomato paste, red pepper paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add cumin and stir. Remove from the heat.
- Add this to the lentils which should be cool by now.
- Add half of finely chopped parsley, green onion, and lemon juice to the lentils. Mix all well.
- Take walnut size pieces and give them kofte shape in your hands.
- You can either place lettuce leaves on a serving plate and put koftes on top as in the picture, or serve koftes and lettuce leaves separately. However, when you eat them you should wrap each kofte in a lettuce leaf.
World Gluttony http://www.worldgluttony.com/