The irony of this dish is that I have never been able to roll this lentil mix into kofte (aka “balls”) but I love the taste of it so much that I spoon it into little bowls and eat it with hummus and a pomegranate cilantro salad. To make the salad take the seeds of a pomegranate, 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, the grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon and an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix gently.
The recipe is originally from Silvena Rowe’s Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume cookbook and tastes just as delicious as the book sounds. It is packed with lots of great little treasures; I chose this one because it uses red lentils, a food we could all eat a little more of.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Za’atar (spice mix found in spice stores and great with lots of dishes)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (see here for the recipe)
2/3 cup finely ground bulgur
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantry
1 tablespoon red pepper paste or tomato paste
Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the red onion for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cumin, za’atar and paprika, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Stir in the lentils and then pour the pomegranate molasses and 1 2/3 cups water.
Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the lentils are almost cooked.
Add the bulgur, combine well and season.
Tip the mixture into a bowl and let cool.
Once cool, stir in the cilantro and red pepper paste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.
Shape the kofte mixture into mini balls and make small indentations in the center of each.
Spoon in the pomegranate and cilantro salad.