A Crispy and Savory Turkish Snack
Hello, food lovers! Today I’m going to show you how to make rice kofta, a crispy and savory Turkish snack that is made with rice, green lentils, and spices. Rice kofta is a vegan and gluten-free dish that is high in protein, fiber, and iron. It is also easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. Let’s learn more about this dish and how to make it at home!
History of Rice Kofta
Rice kofta is a variation of kofta, a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in Balkan, Middle Eastern, North African, South Caucasian, South Asian and Central Asian cuisines. The word kofta comes from the Persian “küfte” or “köfte” meaning finely chopped meat. The earliest recipes for kofta are found in the earliest Arab cookbooks and call for ground lamb. There are many national and regional variations of kofta, with different ingredients, shapes, sizes, and cooking methods.
Rice kofta is a Turkish version of kofta that uses rice and green lentils instead of meat. It is also known as pirinç köftesi or yeşil mercimekli pirinç köftesi in Turkish. Rice kofta is a popular dish among vegetarians and vegans, as it provides a good source of plant-based protein and complex carbohydrates. Rice kofta is also a budget-friendly dish, as rice and lentils are cheap and widely available ingredients. Rice kofta can be served as a snack, appetizer, or main course, with various sauces or dips on the side.
- For the kofta:
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 1 1/2 cups of green lentils
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 10 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of kofta spice mix (or use a combination of salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- Salt to taste
- 5 tablespoons of bread crumbs
- For the red pepper sauce:
- 5-6 roasted red peppers (canned or homemade)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the kofta, cook the rice in a small pot with water until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the green lentils in another pot with water until soft. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the rice and lentils together with a fork or a potato masher. Add the onion, parsley, kofta spice mix, tomato paste, and salt and mix well.
- If you want, you can also add an egg and 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs to the mixture to make it more firm. This way, you don’t have to refrigerate the mixture before shaping it.
- Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and flatten them slightly. Coat them with bread crumbs and set aside.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the koftas until golden and crisp on both sides, for about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
- To make the red pepper sauce, blend the roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the koftas or serve it on the side.
- Enjoy your rice koftas hot or cold with some yogurt or salad on the side.
I hope you liked this recipe for rice kofta. It is one of my favorite Turkish snacks and I’m sure you will love it too. If you try it, let me know how it turned out in the comments below. And don’t forget to follow my blog for more delicious recipes from around the world. See you next time!