In Turkey, lentils are a staple. They use red, yellow, green, and brown in soups and to make a variety of balls. After living there for 6 months, I became a pro at preparing them. This, however, was the first recipe that I learned when I moved there. It can be made into a soup for a starter or prepared as a main meal. Several of the spices are nearly impossible to find outside of Turkey or a Turkish grocery store, so you may need to make appropriate substitutions. Enjoy!
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 c/260 g red lentils, washed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 potato, cubed
- 1 red chili pepper
- 1/2 red tomato
- 1 tbsp bulgur wheat
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp chili paste (optional)
- 2 tsp isot
- 2 tbsp butter
- 11 tbsp ground mint leaf
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sumac (optional)
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in large pot, then saute onions until translucent. Add 6 c/1.5 l of water, potatoes, tomato, red chili pepper, and lentils, and bring to a boil. Then add tomato and chili paste, and leave to simmer until lentils are tender and potatoes are cooked (25 minutes).
When finished, pour the mixture through a sieve. Set lentil and potato mixture aside, and leave broth in the pot.
In a frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp ground mint leaf. Pour mixture into the broth, and mix thoroughly.
Serve broth in a bowl, with the lentils served on a side plate. Squeeze fresh lemon on both, and top lentils with plain strained yogurt (e.g. Greek-style).
*To eat as a soup, do not sieve the mixture, and serve together after adding butter and mint to the broth.
Yields 4 servings
A special thanks to my friend, Sezgin Erkorkmarz, for teaching me this recipe.