This week's herb blogging event is hosted by Tomato, and coincides with the Australian Day weekend. My dish, red lentil balls, uses flat-leaf parsley together with green onions.
Kırmızı Mercimekli Köfte
These red lentil balls originate from eastern and south-eastern regions of Turkey. They are easy to make, and are delicious, especially when wrapped in lettuce leaves. Serve warm as a nice vegeterian dish; or cold, as a salad or side dish. Do not hesitate to adjust the amount of spices and herbs to your liking (e.g., exclude cumin, add cayenne pepper, etc.).
The bulghur variety in this dish is the fine version (as opposed to the coarse one) - available at Middle Eastern shops. You may also try this dish with green lentils, but they take longer to cook, so will need more water.
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup fine bulghur (cracked wheat)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of tomato paste (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup green onions (scallions)
Bring two cups of water to boil in a pot, and add the lentils. Cook in low heat until the water is absorbed, and the lentils are mushy. Turn off the stove, and stir the bulghur into lentils. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes to allow the bulghur to soften and expand.
In the meantime, fry the finely chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add tomato paste at the last minute, stir and turn off the stove.
Add the fried onion and garlic into the lentil mixture along with the spices and salt. Lightly knead until the ingredients are mixed. Taste, and adjust salt and spices. Add the parsley and green onions, and lightly knead. Shape the mixture into egg-shaped balls. Sprinkle with paprika, and serve with lettuce leaves.