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Lentil Kofte (P, TNT)
Source: "A Taste of Turkish Cuisine," by Sheilah Kaufmann
Serves: 8 to 10

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Red Pepper Paste (available at Mediterranean markets)
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 cup dried red lentils
1-1/2 cups fine #1 bulgur/bulghur/burghul
6 spring onions, whites and a little green, sliced crosswise in small pieces
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, washed and finely chopped

Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring, on low-medium heat until well cooked.

Add the Red Pepper Paste, Aleppo pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest.

Place the lentils in a 1-quart pot and cover with 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, uncovered, reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If and when white foam or scum appears, remove it from time to time. When almost all the water is absorbed, check the lentils and if they are not cooked you can add a little more water and continue cooking.

When holes appear on the surface and the lentils are cooked, add the bulgur, mixing well, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot and remove from the heat. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. The bulgur will be cooked by the steam.

Add the onion mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon, cover, and let it rest again for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add half of the chopped spring onions and half of the chopped parsley to the mixture, mixing well.

Using your hands, knead the mixture together for a few minutes and when well blended take a tablespoon-size piece (from the mixture), roll into a ball, and flatten into an oval shape (if desired you can wear rubber kitchen gloves to do this). Repeat using all of the mixture, then place ovals in a serving dish or on a platter, and sprinkle the remaining onions and parsley over the top.

Poster's Notes:
If you don't have red pepper paste, a tablespoon of tomato paste can be substituted.

If the lentil and bulgur mixture is too hard, add a little boiling water and olive oil to soften. If too loose, add a little more bulgur.

If you don't have time to shape the mixture, oil a round ring mold and place the lentil bulgur mixture in the mold, press it down gently, then turn it upside down on a round serving plate, unmold, and decorate the top with the rest of the chopped onions and parsley.

Posted by Sheilah Kaufmann

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A