Turkish Lentil Kofta Balls (Vegan)


lentil balls 1

Upon first bite I would describe it as lusciously chewy with a distinctive hint of spice. I tried this recipe for the first time this week, but we loved it so much that I made it again today! Incredibly flavorsome, healthy, and easy to make, the piquancy of these savory lentil balls are a most delectable addition to any meal. An instant favorite beautiful enough to command center stage, it has become a delicacy in our house already.

lentil balls 2


The recipe of this delish dish, mercimek koftesi, was passed on to me by a Turkish colleague of mine, who guaranteed that we’ll love it–and as you may have guessed already, she was right. And what’s so great about it (besides the taste, of course), is that it is a great source of protein for vegans. When in combination, the lentils + bulgur together provide the complete range of the 9 essential amino acids!

To prepare, you need the following ingredients (makes around 40 medium lentil balls):

  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 1 cup fine bulgur (preferably whole wheat–or cooked quinoa if you’re gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp red pepper paste, Biber Salcasi (I used paprika instead, as I couldn’t find it)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4 cups of water

1. In a saucepan, add the water, lentils, and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer and stir occasionally, until the water is absorbed (which takes around 10 minutes).

2. Stir in the bulgur and remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover and leave for about 15-20 minutes, until the bulgur is quite soft.

3. Meanwhile, stir-fry the onion for a few minutes, until translucent. Add the tomato and pepper pastes, and remove from the heat. When the mixture has cooled, add the rest of the spices.

3. Add the onion-spice mixture to the lentil-bulgur mixture, and mix. Stir in the scallions and parsley, mixing gently. Wet your hands and form into small, walnut-sized balls. You can either serve immediately or refrigerate.


lentil balls 3



lentil balls 4


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Vegan

One Comment on “Turkish Lentil Kofta Balls (Vegan)”

  1. Karrie
    June 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    These are great! Thanks!


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