I try to eat vegan when I can because it simply makes me feel better, so when I had this dish in a Turkish restaurant I set out to make them at home. Lentil koftas are cheap and easy to make and this recipe yields quite a bit. They are especially good in the summer as they are served chilled.
Turkish Lentil Kofta
- 1+ 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed well and drained
- 1 cups fine grain bulgur
- 3- 3+1/4 cups of water
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium to large sized onion peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup of washed, de-stemmed and chopped parsley
- 2 tbs fresh dill, washed chopped
- 3-4 green onions washed, trimmed and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp dried mint
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a medium to large saucepan bring 2+1/4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Rinse lentils in a fine mesh strainer removing any imperfections and add to pot and cover.
While the lentils are cooking rinse the bulgur and add to lentils along with 3/4-1 cup of hot water) after they have boiled for 8-10 minutes. Cook until lentils break open and water is mostly gone. Be sure you lentils are not so over cooked they turn to paste. Remove from heat and keep covered to absorb any extra moisture.
While lentils and bulgur are cooking chop onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until just tender. When onions start to go translucent add the cumin, celery seed, tomato paste, salt and pepper. When combined well, set aside.
In a large bowl add lentils/bulgur, onion mixture and lemon juice and mix well. Let chill in the fridge for at least 3 minutes before adding the fresh herbs and green onions, mix well and let sit at least an hour until everything is chilled and has had a chance to absorb all the flavors.
Before serving shape into logs, balls or patties/ Serve on a bed of lettuce with lemon and cilantro/parsley for garnish. I like eating these with warm grilled flat breads or as part of a wrap.