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  • Sibel Akcekaya

Turkish Lentil Patties (Meatballs)-Mercimekli Kofte

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

This is a dish that is popular at homes when housewives get together during the day. I used to eat these patties at least once each week after I came back from school. Sometimes it was my mom’s but sometimes it was neighbor’s meatballs.

The bulgur we use here is very fine, you might find this type of bulgur in Middle Eastern or Turkish groceries. Red bell pepper paste can also be found in Middle eastern groceries.

We serve it with lettuce and lemon. Before eating you can squeeze lemon on lentil patties and wrap it with lettuce.

Parsley and spring onions are the basis of these meatballs but optionally you can also add cilantro and basil.

Lentil Patties (Meatballs)-Mercimekli Kofte

Red lentil and bulgur meets in this very practical and easy patties recipe that is very popular among housewives of Turkey

Course Appetizer, Side Dish

Cuisine Turkish


100 g red lentils washed 1/2 cup

50 g fine fine bulgur wheat 1/4 cup

4 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

5 garlic cloves

2.5 tsp red pepper flakes

1.5 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 tsp red bell pepper paste

1/8 tsp ground cumin

2 scallions (spring onions)

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley

2 fresh basil sprigs (optional)

2 fresh cilantro (optional)

2 bunches lettuce

lemons, sliced


Combine lentils and 1 litre warm water in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Then mix lentil and water until they are fully combined. Add the bulgur, 1/2 tsp salt and cover and rest for 10 minutes

Transfer mixture to a large deep bowl.

Finely slice the onion and garlic. Heat a frying pan until hot , add 2 tbsp of the oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and half of the tomato and red bell pepper paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Add remaining 2 tbsps of the oil, tomato paste and red bell pepper paste to the lentil with cumin and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Knead for 1 minute. Finely slice the scallions, parsley, basil and coriander and add to the cooked onion and garlic mixture, then knead gently for 5 minutes.

Squeeze large walnut sized pieces of the mixture into patties. Serve with the lettuce and lemon


You can also serve it with cressand sliced radishes

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