Mercimek Köftesi (Red Lentil Balls)


Serves 10 to 12

Low fat, high fiber and vegan. Prepare up to a day in advance.


Mercimek Köftesi (Red Lentil Balls)


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
  • 3 cup(s) water
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) red lentils
  • 3/4 cup(s) bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup(s) chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon(s) mild dried red pepper (paprika, smoked paprika or a blend with paprika and red pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dried mint
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Mercimek Köftesi (Red Lentil Balls) Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot.
  2. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the tomato paste mixture, lentils and salt, and stir well to keep the lentils from sticking to each other.
  3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Add the bulgur, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. Mix in the green onions, and turn off the heat.
  4. Add the parsley, spices and lemon juice. Taste and add more salt or spices to taste.
  5. Stir well and allow to cool, covered, to room temperature.
  6. Shape the mixture into patties or balls, garnish with lemon wedges and refrigerate for half an hour before serving.