Turkish cooking workshop recipe – red lentil Kofte

Turkish Red Lentil Kofte

Mercimek Köftesi (Vegan)


  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 cup fine bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste and red pepper paste
  • 1 -2 teaspoon lemon juice (juice of half or whole lemon to your taste)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons fresh parsley (approx, divided)
  • 14 cup green onion, chopped (about 4-5 green onions, white parts cut off)
  • Red lentil Kofte(prefer iceberg, can use any)

Directions See How It’s Made

  1. Boil the lentils in the water, uncovered, until they soak up most of the water, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add the bulgur and salt. Mix once and loosely cover to let the bulgur expand, then remove from the heat and let rest on a potholder about 10 minutes to let it cool off.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the cumin and remove pan from heat. Stir once the heat is off.
  6. Add the onion-tomato paste-cumin mixture to the pot with lentils and bulgur, which should be cool by now. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper to heat it up if you like.
  7. Add half of your parsley (about 1-1.5 tablespoons worth), the green onions, and lemon juice to the pot, and mix well.
  8. Take pieces of the kofte out of the pot and form them into kofte shape. The same size and shape
  9. You can then arrange the lettuce leaves on a big plate and serve that way, but the real deal way to eat them is wrapping each kofte up in a lettuce leaf