The weather’s cooling down and I’m stocking on food and taking pictures as I do ;) using the new lens gifted to me by Mohammed :))) Still learning the ropes of this new lens but so far I LOVE the results!!!
Anyway, the other day, I decided to make Lentil Kofta (or Mercimekli Kofte in Turkish (pronounced Merjimmek)!
Lentil Kofta….mmm mmm mmm…a traditional Turkish bundle of yumminess!! Not your typical ‘meal’ style kofta but rather a salad. Something served at tea-time to complement the desserts and tea it accompanies! Just like Kisir (Turkish Bulgur Salad). I’ve been wanting to make this for a long long time and I was lucky to find the recipe in my mom’s recipe book! Lucky because this is such a traditional dish that usually mom wouldn’t have the need to document it! One of those things she can make with her eyes closed!
Traditionally, Lentil Kofta is formed into cigar-shaped cylinders and served on a bed of lettuce leaves. But I used these mini silicon moulds to get cute shapes! And I cut up the lettuce into circles using a cookie cutter :)) It’s great for presentation…in my opinion! :))
Anyway…make these…you really want to, trust me! A bit of sourness, a bit of spice! They just taste great! And brew a pot of tea while you’re at it :)))
Or you can shape them into traditional cigar-shaped cylinders!
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup fine ground bulgur, cleaned
- 2½ cups hot water
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 medium sized yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red pepper paste
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A bunch of parsley, finely chopped (makes about 1 cup)
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped (makes about 1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- juice of 1 lemon
- A few lettuce leaves
- In a medium sized pot, combine 2 cups of water and the lentils and put on medium heat. The objective here is to have the lentils absorb ALL of the water and cook at the same time, so don't put too much water.
- Cook for 15 - 20 minutes checking regularly to make sure the water hasn't been absorbed completely before the lentils have cooked. If the water has been absorbed, add half cup of hot water and continue cooking until absorbed.
- When the lentils have cooked and the water has been absorbed, remove from heat. Wash the bulgur and add to the lentils. Cover and let steam for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped yellow onion and sauté until the color turns slightly pink.
- Add the tomato paste and pepper paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the red pepper flakes and salt and stir. Remove from heat.
- When the bulgur has steamed, add the onion/tomato paste mixture to the pot with the lentils and bulgur.
- Add the chopped green onions, chopped parsley, lemon juice, black pepper and cumin.
- Mix all the ingredients until well combined. At this stage, you can taste the kofta mixture to make sure the seasoning isn't missing anything. Add more salt or pepper if needed.
- If using mini silicon moulds, tightly press a bit of the kofta mixture into each mould. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow it to set.
- Or shape the kofta's into 2½ inch - 3 inch cigar-shaped cylinders.
- Serve on lettuce leaves.