Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mercimek Yemegi (Turkish Lentil Dish)

This is really easy to make, and my kids LOVE it. It is gluten-free, casein-free, and soy-free (GFCFSF). Also egg-free (EF). It does contain tomato paste; tomatoes can cause phenol reactions in some kids, so watch for that (read more about phenols at Dana's site by clicking HERE).


2 cups green lentils (get some HERE)
1/2 small can tomato paste (1/2 of a 6-oz can)
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
olive oil


Sort through the lentils to look for stones (discard any you find). Then wash the lentils with water until the water runs mostly clear. Sautee chopped onions in olive oil in a pot. Add ground beef and brown it in the pot with the onions. Don't drain the oil off. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the lentils. Add enough water to
cover the lentils x 3 (in other words, cover lentils with water then add twice as much water -- this is totally an inexact science, though, so you can play with the texture on this step by having more or less water). Add about 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. salt. Boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 40-45 minutes on low until lentils are soft.

Serve in a bowl. We squeeze lemon or add some vinegar too, but this is optional.

Makes enough for 4 with leftovers.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tori,
Thanks for this link. It looks soo yummy. My daughter doesn't eat beef, I will try it adding ground pork or lamb.
thx again,namita

Tori said...

Namita (and others): If you don't eat beef, ground chicken or turkey would work as well. - Tori :)

~M said...

We're going to try this during this week! What sides do you recommend?

Tori said...

Dear ~M:

You can add a diced/chopped potato in here, as well as a chopped carrot, and that adds some "heft" in terms of carbs. When I have potato in it, I don't do a side -- this is a meal in and of itself. For those who like salad (my kids don't), a nice green leafy salad is good. If you'd like you could also have some rice or plain pasta or bread with it, and some fruit for dessert. When we have bread with it, we have bread at the same time, but when we have rice or pasta with it, we have it as a 2nd course. That's kinda the Turkish way -- they end the meal with the carb. So 1st bowl is the lentils. Finish the bowl. Then 2nd bowl is some plain pasta (by plain I mean no sauce other than some oil/salt/garlic) or some basic rice. The lentils are filling, so you wouldn't need too much extra carb.

Tori :)

Tori :)

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