Turkish Red Lentil Patties

lentil balls These red lentil patties were one of the first Turkish dishes I got introduced to by my boyfriend’s mom. It was the love from the first sight! I had them again when I visited Istanbul this summer and my love for them only grew stronger. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the recipe so I never made them myself until I saw the recipe on one of my favorite food blogs – Delicious Istanbul. Olga’s red lentil patties are a bit different from the ones my mother-in-law makes but I used this recipe as a guideline.

Red Lentil Patties Recipe


2 cups red lentils
3 cups of water to cook the lentils
1 cup fine bulgur
1 cup water to cook bulgur
1 tsp salt
1 white onion finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato and red pepper paste (or just tomato paste)
1 tsp cumin
1/3 bunch parsley
half of bunch green onions
1/2 tbsp red flakes
juice of half lemon
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil


1. Cook lentils in the boiling water for about 10 mins until they become mushy. In the meantime boil water for the bulgul, spread dry bulgur on the bottom of a pot and add boiled water, mix and cover with the lid. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes until ready.

2. Fry cumin for few seconds in the frying pan, add chopped onions and olive oil and simmer for about 3 minutes until golden, add tomato and red pepper paste and cook for another few minutes.

3. Mix bulgur with lentils, add onion mixture, salt and lemon juice. Knead the mixture until it’s soft and homogeneous.  Add parsley, green onions, red pepper flakes and olive oil and mix well with your hands.

4. Form small patties with your hands.

5. Serve with lettuce leaves and yogurt.

Bon appetite!

lentil balls-3

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