Red lentil patties, or ոսպով կոլոլակ, is proof that there is beauty (and flavor) in simplicity.
A staple for many Armenians–vegan or not, it consists of red lentils, bulgur, onion, greens, and spices. As is the case with many Armenian dishes, it goes by various names, including the more popular vospov kufteh.
Popular throughout the diaspora, no two recipes for this popular meal ever seem to match up completely. This recipe takes the best out of all the different versions, combining them into one. Enjoy as a main with a side of the classic tomato and cucumber salad, or serve as a side.
Tip: Make this dish a day before you plan to serve and enjoy it–once the ingredients all sit together, it becomes more rounded in flavor!
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1.5 cups fine bulgur
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 2-3 TBSP hot pepper paste
- 1 bunch spring onions (approx 2/3 cup once chopped)
- 1/2 punch parsley (approx 2/3 cup once chopped)
- 1 TBSP salt
- 5 cups water
- 1 TBSP red hot pepper (optional, garnish)
- Heat up 5 cups of water, keeping a kettle or pot of hot water ready in case more is needed
- Add a pinch of salt and stir
- Rinse the lentils very well in a strainer
- Add the lentils to the pot and bring to a boil
- Remove the foam that arises and reduce heat to medium, keeping the pot uncovered
- Cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
- While the lentils are boiling, sauté your onion with oil on medium heat, until translucent
- Once the lentils are cooked and “creamy”, turn off heat and allow them to cool
- Rinse the bulgur, drain all excess water and let it sit to soften (if there is water leftover it will interfere when you mix it with the lentils)
- Finely chop up your spring onions and parsley, setting some aside to use for garnish
- Once the lentils have cooled, add them to your greens and mix well
- Add the cumin, paprika and pepper paste, and mix in well
- Add bulgur in gradually and let the mixture sit for a bit so the bulgur softens completely
- Shape your mixture into oval-esque shapes, burgers, or simply place into a container
- Garnish with extra spring onion, parsley and pepper and enjoy