Mercimek Köftesi Turkish Red Lentil Kofte (Vegan)

Total Time
Prep 45 mins
Cook 10 mins

I got this from the Almost Turkish food blog, looks yummy! I looove red lentils though I'll probably cheat and use rice, kasha, or barley since I tend to not keep bulgur around heh. This is a completely dairy-free recipe that is both vegan and kosher. I guess any kind of onion would work but I imagine a tangy red onion would compliment the lentils well, or sweet yellow for a nice complex flavor, but white will work just fine.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Boil the lentils in the water, uncovered, until they soak up most of the water, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add the bulgar and salt. Mix once and loosely cover to let the bulgar 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 bulgar, 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 as a Twinkie works, though traditional kofte is about half the size of a Twinkie.
  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.