Monday, November 3, 2008

Red Lentil Burgers

This weekend we went to a Halloween party. Our friend is from Lebanon and was cooking middle eastern. Claron is a huge fan of middle eastern food and he suggested I make red lentil burgers. I first saw these burgers made by a friend's Turkish mother. I found this recipe online and have tweeked it until they tasted right.

Red lentils can be hard to find. Here in Santa Barbara, I buy them at the Isla Vista Co-op. They cook more quickly than normal lentils and I think their flavor is more mild.

Kirmizi Mercimek Koftesi (Red Lentil Burgers)
1 cup red lentils
1.5 cups hot water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley or 1.5 T dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, smushed into a paste
1 large onion, finely minced
1 T cumin
1 t crushed red pepper
1 egg
olive oil, for frying

Boil the lentils with the bouillon and water. When the lentils are cooked, all the water should be absorbed. If the lentils are watery, let them sit to absorb the rest of the moisture. If the lentils don't seem done, add a little more water. When the lentils are cooked and relatively cooled, add the parsley, garlic, onion, spices and egg. Shape the lentils into patties and fry in skillet with olive oil. Garnish the lentil 'kofte' like you would a burger. We like eating these on middle eastern flat bread from Trader Joe's with tzaziki or hummus and tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.

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