The Middle-Eastern kitchen is incredibly vegan and vegetarian friendly. Lots of recipes with beans, legumes, grains and vegies makes it wonderful for plant-based diets to explore new tastes and ideas. This week we’ve tried the Mercimek Köfte which are traditional Turkish vegan ‘meat’ balls made with bulgur and served in a green lettuce leaf. I added my own little twist to it and here’s the result: a great weeknight dinner that you can serve with some vegan tzaziki and naan bread. It’s the perfect party finger food as well!
- 200 g red lentils
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 tbsp Ajvar (Turkish capsicum sauce, I've used mild but next time I'll make it spicy)
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp harrisa spice
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Parsley, chopped
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
- Step 2 Cook the red lentils for 7 minutes and drain from excess water
- Step 3 Blend lentils with all the ingredients in a food processor.
- Step 4 Transfer to a bowl and add some flour if the mixture is still too wet.
- Step 5 Form 15 rolls. Add them to an oven plate with baking paper. Bake for about 20 minutes.
- Step 6 I like mine a bit crispier and browner, so I’ve baked them in a very hot cast iron pan for another 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Step 7 Serve with a fresh balsamic salad, cos lettuce, tomato & cucumber salad, naan bread, vegan tzaziki, more ajvar or any other sides you’d like.