Red lentil kofta is a popular, lightly spiced Turkish appetizer featuring a dough made with red lentils, bulgur, and vegetables. We thought this would be a great way to use our Eastern Mediterranean Spice, a Turkish-influenced blend with dill, Urfa Biber chile flakes, cumin, sumac and more. This dish can be served raw, baked or fried, but we like the added texture and flavor you get from a shallow pan-fry.
We paired our kofta with a quick pomegranate molasses dipping sauce, perfect for serving as an appetizer. They are also delicious as a side with grilled fish; on top of a salad; tucked into a pita sandwich or made bigger for veggie burgers.
Makes about 32 small patties
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons Eastern Mediterranean Spice
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water
1 cup fine-ground bulgur (#1)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over moderate heat, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and spices, then add the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the lentils are tender and have absorbed about three-fourths of the liquid, about 8 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and remove from the heat. Let stand until the liquid is absorbed and the bulgur is softened, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Pulse mixture in a food processor until it’s tacky.
Form golf-ball sized balls. Flatten with hand. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan. Cook in batches, pan-frying for 4 minutes per side. Add more oil to pan as needed.
Make the pomegranate sauce by whisking the pomegranate molasses with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Enjoy!