Thursday, 14 June 2018

Monumental Lentil

It is not unnatural to hope that our children will follow in our footsteps, enjoy the things we enjoy and learn from all those days out when we dragged them around art galleries and local monuments.  It's not unnatural to hope but it's highly unlikely to happen. My daughter had clocked up more archaeological sites by the age of 10 than most people see in two lifetimes - has she voluntarily visited any as an adult? Not to my knowledge.  However something must have rubbed off in the 19 years we spent living in the same house because she is turning into a very good cook, with a flare for presentation that is probably learnt from the pages of Instagram and Pinterest  rather than the home kitchen.
She is cooking up tasty, thrifty meals that taste as good as they look.

I've christened this one 'Esi's Monumental Lentil'  in the hope that she might be reminded of all the wonderful ancient sites around Bodrum when she cooks it next.

1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
1 ½ cup of fine bulgur
1 onion
1 tbsp Tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes

Extras – lettuce and lemon to serve, parsley and fresh green onion.

Place the lentils and water into a pan and cook them till soft.
Turn off the heat and add the bulgur to the lentils and mix, put the lid of the pan back on and let it sit for half an hour.
While waiting on the bulgur lentil mixture, you can start on the second half by sauteing one onion and the garlic together in a tablespoon of olive oil.
Once onions and garlic have softened,  add the tbsp of tomato paste into the mixture and stir till the tomato paste has covered the onions and garlic then turn off the heat so as to not burn it.
Check on your bulgur and lentil mixture to see if the bulgur has absorbed the water and become soft, if not add a small amount of boiling water and wait a bit longer.
Once everything has cooled down add both mixtures together, then add in the red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper together and mix with hands squeezing it through the fingers to create a smooth paste.
At this point you may want to add in some fresh parsley and green onions to the mixture for taste.
Once mixed to a paste you can then roll it in your hands and mold until you get a small sausage shape; pile up on a plate and serve with lettuce and lemons, some tzadzikki/cacik and steamed greens. 


  1. Looks great...I wish red lentils did not cost the earth here...and as for bulgar....

  2. Hmmm! At this rate you'll have her showing as much interest in cooking as she does in ancient rock piles! ;-)

  3. Not being known for my culinary prowess I think even I could make this ...

    1. I never have - don't know how I've overlooked it

  4. Ooooh love mercimek köftesi - and love its name for Esi's version! :) Afiyet olsun. :)

  5. Interesting version of kısır which I made for my guests on Bayram. We looove lentils and so I will most definitely try this recipe. Thanks, Esi.

    1. It is rarely served in restaurants but more a street food