These vegetarian kofte are made with hearty red lentils, bulgur wheat and plenty of punchy Middle-Eastern flavours. Serving with a silky tahini sauce and crisp red cabbage salad finishes off this meat-free midweek main off perfectly.
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Set aside to soften for 15 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
- Put half the oil in a pan set over a low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 8 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomato purée, cumin, chilli flakes and 1 crushed garlic clove. Cook for a further minute. Add the lentils and top up with the veg stock. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and no liquid remains.
- Turn off the heat, remove the lid and leave the pan in place for 10 minutes to allow the lentils to dry out slightly. Add the drained bulgur and half the chopped parsley. Mix well and season to taste.
- Taking about 1 tablespoon of mixture per kofte, use slightly wet hands to shape into 16 small, burger-shaped patties. Arrange on the baking tray, spaced well apart. Brush the tops lightly with the remaining oil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until turning golden.
- In a small bowl, stir the remaining crushed garlic clove into the tahini. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and then whisk in 125ml (4fl oz) water until you have a smooth sauce. Season to taste.
- Combine the remaining parsley with the shredded cabbage and remaining lemon juice to make a salad. Serve with the kofte and the tahini sauce.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Cook the kofte, chill and then freeze well wrapped for up to 3 months. Leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours and warm through until piping hot, before serving.
See more Vegetarian recipes