I was searching for a recipe for something different to do with carrots and came across Award Winning Cook Book Writer’s Diana Henry’s Recipe for Red Lentil and Carrot Kofe Recipe. I was excited about the recipe because it seemed to be made with ingredients that were all very heathy like carrots, lentils, bulgur wheat and exotic seasonings.
The word Kofe is of Persian Origin and comes from the Persian Word Kufteh meaning mashed. In old times before grinders were made meat balls were mashed with a mortar.
I didn’t alter Diana Henry’s Recipe too much but for my taste I thought salt, pepper and lemon juice needed to be bumped up. I also had to cut back on the cilantro because for me it was too much. The biggest change I made was to crisp up the texture because the texture of this mixture was too exotically soft for me so I made them into patties and crisped them up in an oven at 400 degrees. (I forgot if it took a 1/2 hour or 45 minutes) Also instead of Pomegranate Seeds I really thought supreme oranges went really well with this dish.
Ingredients (for the Kofte and Sauce)
35ml Tahini (around a Tablespoon)
1 3/4 lemon’s juiced. (I used almost 3)
4 garlic cloves crushed
6 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I actually used less)
90g Red Lentils (cooked)
50g Bulgur Wheat (cooked)
200g Carrots (roasted with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper when they are done mash them)
1 Small Red Onion finely chopped
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1 t. Turkish Pepper Paste (I used my homemade Roasted Spicy Fresno Pepper Paste) The recommended substitute is Harissa
1 t. Tomato Puree (I left this out)
2 bunches of coriander (cilantro) (I used only a handful and found that to be plenty)
1 Pomegranate (seeds only) (I used 1 orange supremes )
over salad is suggested
The recipe for the sauce is mix the tahini with 75ml of water and juice of 1/2 a lemon, one crushed garlic and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper. I used all fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons and skipped the water)
Heat about a T of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan and toss in your very finely chopped red onions and let then go till they are soft.
Then add cumin, paprika, remaining garlic, let it go about 2 minutes and then add your pepper paste (and tomato puree if you are using that).
Stir in your lentils and carrots and cilantro (the amount you like), juice of one lemon. 2 T of extra Virgin Olive Oil is suggested to add. (I think mine was soft enough and I didn’t add that)
It’s recommended to shape these into balls the size of a walnut and indent them to hold pomegranate seeds and then drizzle with tahini sauce, extra virgin olive oil and chopped coriander/cilantro.
For me this was too soft to eat this way so I shaped them in patties and crisped them up in a 400 degree oven for 30 or 45 minutes.I salt and peppered the surface of Kofes. I used orange instead of pomegranate and scallions instead of more cilantro.