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Lentil Balls

Sample Dishes from Turkish Cuisine

Lentil Balls (Mercimek Köftesi)

Red split lentils1 cup180 gr
Water2 1/2 cup500 gr
Bulgur (fine)1 cup150 gr
Onion3 medium size200 gr
Olive Oil2/3 cup130 gr
Parsley 1 bunch60 gr
Mint fresh6-8 sprigs20 gr
Green Onion8 small size70 gr
Tomato paste3 tablespoon30 gr
Red pepper1 teaspoon2 gr
Black Pepper1/4 teaspoon0.5 gr
Salt1 teaspoon6 gr


Place lentils and water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are very tender. Remove from heat. Stir in bulgur, tomato paste, salt and spices while stil hot, blending thoroughly. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Saute fınely chopped onions in oil for 10 minutes or until tender crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper; mix. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons. Pour remaining over lentil-bulgur mixture. Add minced onion, mixing thoroughly. Blend in chopped green onions, parsley, mint leaves, reserving 2-3 tablespoons. Shape into egg sized oblong patties. Arrange on a serving plate. Sprenkle with reserved saute onion. Garnish with reserved greens. Serve warm or cold.

Servings: 6

Nutritional Value
(in approximately one serving)

Energy405 cal
Protein10,9 g
Fat22,4 g
Carbohydrates42,5 g
Calcium56 mg
Iron4,01 mg
Phosphorus210 mg
Zinc2 mg
Sodium800 mg
Vitamin A737 iu
Thiamine0,19 mg
Riboflavin0,14 mg
Niacin1,97 mg
Vitamin C8 mg
Cholesterol0 mg

Regional Characteristics:

The recipe comes from the Southeast Region. However it is prepared in many parts of the country. lt is very typical, tasty and rich in flavor and for this reason especially popular and served at tea parties, buffet suppers or luncheons. It may be served in small balls for cocktail parties too. Cummin may be added with other spices. Instead of mint leaves, tarragon can be substituted since the original recipe includes tarragon. Lentil patties can be arranged over lettuce leaves on a serving plate.