Spicy Bean and Lentil Balls

Antakya mercimek köftesi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

These tasty dry balls appear in different forms throughout Turkey and the Middle East. This recipe is from Antakya, where the baked balls are tucked into a pide pouch with sliced onion, tomato and chopped parsley, and smothered in thick yogurt. They are ideal for a light lunch or supper served with yogurt and çoban salatası. Broad, lima or fava beans or chickpeas can be used.


  • 4 oz/120 g white broad beans, soaked for 24 hours
  • 4 oz/120 g large green lentils, soaked for 24 hours
  • 2 oz/60 g hazelnuts
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kırmızı biber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
  • Drain the beans and lentils, put them into a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for only 15 minutes. Drain and pound them to a paste (or whizz them in an electric mixer). Add the other ingredients and knead well.
  • Take portions of the mixture and roll them into small neat balls. Place them on an oiled baking tray and put in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until browned. Serve hot or cold.