Lentil & walnut kofte

Lentil & walnut kofte

Cevİzlİ mercİmek köftesİ

Turkish Fire
Alicia Taylor

These delicious morsels can be rolled and shaped a day ahead, and cooked just before serving. In Turkey they are not only served up at lunch, but also enjoyed at dinner, too.


Quantity Ingredient
185g brown or green lentils
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon grated cheddar
30g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 free-range egg
60g chopped walnuts
2-3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for shallow-frying
20g mint leaves
garlic yoghurt, to serve, (see note)


  1. Put the lentils in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of sea salt. Bring to the boil, then leave to boil until tender — usually about 35–40 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Transfer the lentils to a food processor. Add the carrot, flour, cheese, parsley and egg. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and process until well combined.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and add the walnuts. Mix well, then shape into walnut-sized balls. Roll them in the breadcrumbs, place on a tray and refrigerate for a couple of hours, until firm and well chilled.
  4. When you are ready to eat, heat about 2.5 cm of sunflower oil in a heavy-based frying pan, over a high heat. Working in batches, fry the kofte in the oil for 3–4 minutes, until golden all over, turning halfway through. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  5. Place on a serving plate and serve hot, garnished with the mint leaves, and with garlic yoghurt on the side.


  • To make the garlic yoghurt, crush 2 peeled garlic cloves to a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle. Gently fold the garlic and 1 tablespoon sea salt through 500 g plain Greek-style yoghurt; don’t stir too vigorously as you don’t want the yoghurt to liquefy. Cover and refrigerate until required; the garlic yoghurt is best served cold, as it tends to get a little runny at room temperature.
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