Monday, May 3, 2010

Red Lentil Balls (Mercimek Koftesi)

This is a great vegeterian recipe that anyone can enjoy, it is great as an appetizer or a light summer time meal. Try this recipe and you will find out how red lentils and bulgur can create a very unique flavor in surprising harmony. Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat.

1 1/2 cup red lentil
1 cup fine bulgur
2/3 cup olive oil
4 cups of water
1 big onion, petite diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp red pepper paste
juice 1 lemon
1/3 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch green onion, finely chopped
Romain Lettuce for serving

1. Wash the lentils and put them in a pan, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft the water is almost absorbed.
2. Turn off the stove, and stir the bulgur into lentils. Add salt, cover and let the mixture rest for 15 minutes to allow the bulgur to soften and expand. Pay attention to the point that, when lentils are cooked, nearly all of the water should be absorbed or the mixture will be very watery and you won't be able to shape them.
3. In the mean time, heat the oil in a sauce pan and saute the petite diced onion, until translucent. Add tomato paste and red pepper paste cook for another 2 min. Add the cumin and black pepper and turn off the heat.
4. Add the onion mixture into the lentil and bulgur mixture stir and add the parsley and scallions. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed.
5. Take small pieces and shape them into balls. Serve on a lettuce bed, with pickled peppers and Shepherd salad.

This recipe is my first submission for My Legume Love Affair - which is back at home this month at, The Well-Seasoned  Cook.


  1. Esra, this recipe really makes me smile! I have so, so many different lentils in my pantry - what a great way to use them.

    Thanks for sharing your dish for MLLA!

  2. I love this dish! A friend of mine sometimes makes it :)

    Thanks for the recipe!