Red Lentil Balls – Mercimek Köftesi

This recipe I got from my aunt – it’s a vegan speciality from Turkey and very delicious when you prefer a cold lunch or dinner or when you want to bring some fingerfood to a party with friends. The special ingredients like Aci Biber you can buy in a turkish shop or in bigger supermarkets.

Ingredients (for 8-10 persons):

  • 410 g red lentils
  • 175 g fine bulgur (Köftelik Bulgur)
  • 1000 ml water
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 2-3 tbsp oil (e.g. sunflower oil)
  • 1 tbsp hot paprika puree (Aci Biber Salcasi)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 hand full of sleek parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp hot chili flakes (Aci Pul Biber)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • romana salad and lemon wedges as a decoration

Wash the lentils until the water is clear and boil them up with the water in a big pot (without salt). Put on the cooking top and let the lentils simmer for 20 minutes. Then switch of the herd, add the bulgur and let it soak for another 20 minutes until it has a shapeable consistency. In the meantime you can mince the onion and the garlic in a pan and steam them in the oil over middle heat. Then add the spices, the paprika and tomato puree. Steam it for 5 minutes and let it cool down. Cut the spring onions into fine rings and mix them with the minced herbs. When the lentil-bulgur-mix is cold (you can also put it in the fridge for 1 hour) you add the onion-tomato-paprika-mix, the herbs, salt & pepper and the olive oil and knead until you can form the balls. You can also use rubber gloves for this. Decorate the balls on the salad with the lemon wedges aside.


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