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Mercimek Köftesi

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Lentil is a popular product commonly used in Turkish cuisine. Mercimek Köftesi are Turkish style red lentil balls, a vegetarian dish widely consumed in Istanbul. They are usually offered as a healthy food by restaurants with home cuisine, because no frying or baking is allowed in its preparation.

The classical recipe of Mercimek Köftesi includes red lentils, bulgur, onion, olive oil, red pepper flakes, parsley, dill, scallions, and tomato paste. The lentil is boiled, then removed from the heat, and mixed with bulgur. When the bulgur gets soft, slightly fried onion, tomato paste salt and pepper are added, mixed well together with finely chopped greens and shaped in oval balls. It is a good summer appetizer, traditionally served on a large plate covered with lettuce, arranged in several layers, in form of flower with lemon juice squeezed over.

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