April 27, 2009

Red Lentil Kofta (Mercimekli Köfte)

Adapted from my friend Filiz - Thanks a lot you have provided me with lots of terrific turkish dishes that i did enjoy very much


1 cup red lentils
1 cup bulgur
2 onions, chopped and fried golden brown
2 scallions
1/2 cups finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tablespoon turkish red pepper paste (ajvar or harissa)
1 tsp cumin
1 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste
ground black pepper
to taste lemon wedges, for serving

Put the red lentils with 1.5 cups of water in a medium (4 qt) pan. Cover pan and cook on low heat until water is absorbed and lentils are cooked, 15-20 minutes.
Put the bulgur in a large bowl, and add the cooked lentils. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
While the bulgur absorbed the liquid of the lentils, cook the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the harissa, and cook until the onions are very soft.
After the lentil mixture has rested for about 15-20 minutes, check for doneness. If the bulghur is too dry, add some more boiling water slowly, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit another 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to add too much water; the goal is to have a smooth paste that can be shaped, but neither too dry not too wet. Be sure to add only a little water at a time.

When the lentil/bulgur mixture is at the right consistency, add the cooked onion mixture, the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, cumin, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Now form the koftas: take a chunk a bit bigger than walnut size, and roll in your palm and fingers to give it an oblong shape. Shape all of the mixture in this way and arrange decoratively on a plate with lemon slices or wedges.
Serve koftas at room temperature accompanied with olives and turkish salads

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