Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lentil snack

OK the original name for this dish is "Mercimek Kofte". The closest translation would be Lentil Meatballs. But hey there is no meat in here. We are talking a light vegetarian meal which is perfect for a warm season. You serve it cool on a crisp lettuce with a squeeze of lemon. This is what summer meal is all about, isn't it?
1 cup of red lentil
1 cup of fine bulgur*
2 tsp of salt
2 onions
1/3 cups of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 heaping table spoon of tomato paste
lots of chopped green onion and parsley ( to your taste)
* I have never tried it but I assume couscous would work here as well since it has the same properties as fine bulgur.
In a big pan cook lentil in 2 cups of water until it is done.Turn the heat off and add bulgur and salt. Mix them well, cover and let stay for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile fry onion in olive oil. Once onion is soft add garlic and spices. Cook for one more minute. Add tomato paste and saute for another couple of minutes. Now it is time to add onion mixture to the lentil mixture. Mix them well and leave to cool.
Now it is time to do all the chopping of parsley, green onion and any other of your favorite herbs: say dill or mint or cilantro. Try to mince them rather fine.
Once the mixture is cool enough to handle give your precious hands a good wash and start shaping the kofte.
Serve on top of the lettuce leaves with lemon wedges on the side. I like using the smaller center leaves or cutting the big ones in half to stay even on the kofte size.

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