Red Lentil Koftas

Turkish cuisine makes great use of herbs and spices — and it’s what makes these little numbers so delicious! These koftas are a gorgeous representation of the mouth-watering flavours that come from this vibrant region.

Preparation time Prep: 20 mins
cook 25 mins
cool 10 mins

You will need:

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 4 cups water
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup red capsicum paste
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 pieces fresh green onion, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 tablespoons aleppo chilli
  • To serve:
  • 2 cos lettuces, leaves separated
  • Nasturtium leaves, or rocket leaves (optional)
  • Broccolini flowers (optional)
Recipe: Coskun Uysal


  • 1Wash the red lentils well and put them in a large pot. Pour water over them and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • 2Once most of the water is gone, remove from heat and add in bulgur and let it rest covered, for 10 minutes so that bulgur absorbs the rest of the water and gets tender.
  • 3Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, saute the chopped onion with salt in the oil for 5–7 minutes or until tender and golden. Add in capsicum paste, cumin, aleppo pepper, coriander seeds. Stir well.
  • 4Transfer the sauteed onion mixture with the bulgur and lentil mixture into a large bowl. Stir well.
  • 5Add in salt, parsley, dill, green onions, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • 6Portion spoonfuls of koftas into the baby cos lettuce. Garnish with nasturtium leaves and broccolini flowers to serve.
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