Turkish Lentil Bulgur Kofte

This is a wonderful recipe for Turkish Lentil Bulgur Kofte which are delicious, fragrant balls made from lentils and bulgur and served up as finger-food appetizer or even a delicious vegan meal!

1 cup red lentils (I have also used brown on occasion)
2 cups bulgur (cracked wheat)
3 cups water
3 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 large onion diced very finely
3 tbsp. olive oil
Chopped parsley
Lettuce leaves
Lemon wedges
Red pepper flakes to taste (up to 1 tsp)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place 3 cups of water and the lentils in a pot. Add 1 tsp. salt. Bring to boil and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and mushy.

2. Remove the pot from the fire and add the bulgur. Cover and let stand so that the bulgur can absorb all the liquid.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the minced onion in the olive oil until golden and soft. Stir in pepper flakes (to taste), cumin, salt and pepper. Now add the tomato paste and stir. Let this sauté for a few minutes longer.

4. By now all the liquid should be absorbed by the bulgur and the bulgur should be fluffy and the lentils soft.

5. Pour the tomato-onion mixture into the lentil-bulgur pot.

6. Stir this with a spoon or spatula for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Now the trick to this is to knead/mix the mixture thoroughly with your hands. This is a bit messy but it is a necessary step. I tried to just stir with a spoon but it just didn't work. You need to really get into the mixture and knead for a few minutes. You will feel the texture change and the mixture will become thick and homogenous.

7. Add the parsley at this stage.

8. Now we are going to assemble. We are going to make small balls and place them on lettuce leaves. So, first I clean and dry the lettuce leaves and cut them into the size I want for individual servings. I place the lettuce leaves on my serving platter and then form small balls (bite-size that can easily be popped into the mouth) and place each ball on a lettuce leaf.

9. To serve, I garnish with lemon wedges. Each diner picks up the Kofte with the lettuce leaf, squeezes lemon over the Kofte and pops the whole thing into their mouth. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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Mimi Avishai

I'm Mimi (that's me on the Nile River!) and this is my recipe collection. I love to be creative, love to cook and love to entertain. I'm also veggie which means that all of the above gets a bit more complicated – and a lot more fun!

On simply-vegetarian.com I share some of my family's favourite recipes, from soups and starters to holiday main dishes and desserts as well as some really good tips and suggestions for healthy eating!

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