Red Lentil and Bulgur Veggie Balls (Lentil and Bulgur Köfte)

This is a really healthy, traditional Turkish dish, which I absolutely love. These veggie balls or köftes are eaten at room temperature and often with lettuce and drizzle of lemon juice. I think they’re great as a meal as well as a light snack.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 and half cups of red lentils
  • 1 and half cups of fine crushed wheat/ bulgur
  • 1 onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 heaped table spoon of red pepper puree
  • 1 heaped table spoon of tomato puree
  • A generous bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • A sprinkle of crushed chilli (optional- if you want extra heat)
  • Some baby leaf lettuce for garnishing (optional)

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Method:

  1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils and place in sauce pan with a generous amount of water. Leave to cook on a high heat for the water to boil off and for the lentils to soften and cook-through.
  2. Once there’s only a little bit of water left, and the lentils appear to have cooked, lower the heat and add in the bulgur. Mix the bulgur into the lentils and close the lid. Leave the mixture until the rest of the water has boiled off then take it off the heat and leave to one side to cool.
  3. Finely chop the onion and add to a pan with some olive oil. When the onion starts becoming transparent add in both the tomato puree and red pepper puree to coat the onion and continue cooking.
  4. Add the cooked onion into the lentil and bulgur mixture as well as the cumin and some salt and black pepper, mix everything thoroughly. The lentils and bulgur should be entirely coated in the pepper and tomato puree from the onions so that the resulting mixture appears an orange colour.
  5. Once the mixture is cool, finely chop the parsley and the spring onion and add it to the mixture. Again mix everything throughly.
  6. Once the mixture is ready mould small, even amounts into egg-shaped balls. I like to place them on a bed of baby-leaf lettuce as they’re delicious when eaten together. I also drizzle a generous amount of lemon juice on top, or serve with lemon slices so that people can add the juice according to their preference.

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