Turkish Lentil Balls

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You Will need:
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seed
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Biber Salcasi, a Turkish red pepper paste (looks like Harissa but little different), or a mix of puréed roasted hot and sweet red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  Black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  •  Romaine lettuce leaves


You will Do:

First: Boil the the lentils with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 4 cups of water. Stir occasionally, until the lentils are soft and have absorbed most of the water, it takes about 10 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and remove from the heat. Cover and set aside until the bulgur is very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. I cover it with a towel on the top.
Second: in a small skillet, heat the oil and add the onion,  sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato and pepper pastes and mix well. (You can also blend the onion with the tomato then heat on the skillet if you wish it to be soft)  Add cumin, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Season with salt to taste. Then keep it to cool.
Last: add the onion mixture to the lentil mixture and toss to mix. Add the scallions, chia seed and parsley, mixing gently. Line a platter or individual serving plates with lettuce leaves. With dampened hands, form the lentil mixture into oval size balls, placing them on top of the lettuce.  Serve hot or cold.
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