Chef, restaurateur, author, grower


Red lentil and bulgur köfte

Mar 3, 2017 | Recipes

Legumes are a staple in Turkish cuisine; lentils, chickpeas, all kind of dried beans are on everyday menus for home cooks to feed their families well even with a tight budget. They are a significant source of protein, fiber and more, and they are delicious! Legumes are quite versatile to cook to make salads, soups, ragouts or even purees… Today, I chose lentils, especially the red ones since they are very fast to cook.

I am always proud to tell stories about recipes that I learned in my mother’s kitchen during my childhood but now I have a confession to make about this particular ingredient. Although I personally and professionally love to cook and eat them, my knowledge of cooking legumes is not rooted from my mother’s cuisine. I am from the Aegean coast of Turkey where we are obsessed with wild greens, vegetables cooked in olive oil, fish and seafood, while legumes and red meat specialties take place mostly in central, eastern and southeastern Anatolia regions where they are also dominantly cultivated.

My uncle’s wife is from central Anatolia, so I tasted many legume dishes for the first time in her kitchen. I remember that, as a food lover kid, going to my uncle’s felt like a “traveling for food” kind of experience. My uncle’s wife used to make this recipe that I’m writing today, and it was always a festive event with many family members gathered for an afternoon tea.

This recipe was also a permanent item on Restaurant Su‘s menu since day one!

red lentils pot
red lentils and bulgur
red lentils mixing
red lentil kofte shaping