Who else needs a major detox from this terrible year?
I haven’t felt motivated to post since the war broke out in Artsakh. With the pandemic raging all around us forcing us to stay inside, we’ve all been glued to our devices hearing heartbreaking news story after another. This year sucked. The war ended with so much loss of life and ancestral Armenian lands. We all re-lived the intergenerational trauma of the Armenian Genocide in vivid detail for six straight weeks.
I needed a nourishing, comforting dish to detox from my stress-eating over the last several weeks. This inspired my craving for my grandmother’s Vospov Kofte. It’s a vegan red-lentil dish packed full of potassium, folate and flavour. She knew it was one of our favourite dishes, so she would always make this dish for our family dinners. It’s relatively easy to make– the only trick is to make sure you have enough moisture for the bulgur to absorb. My earliest attempts yielded dry kofte, however now I make sure to have lots of water (and olive oil!) for the creamiest, delicious vospov Kofte.
How to Make Armenian Vospov Kofte
It’s important to wash the lentils and remove as much starch as possible. I usually rinse and drain the lentils 4 to 5 times. Add the lentils to a pot and bring to a boil– lower the flame and allow to simmer until cooked. I like to add seasonings to the lentils about halfway through the cooking process except for the salt. The salt should be added at the end when you mix in the onions and parsley.
While the lentils are cooking, sauté the onions in olive oil on low heat until nicely browned, but not burned. Set aside and allow to cool.
When the lentils are cooked and there is still water in the pot, mix in the bulgur and then place a lid on the pot. Remove from heat and allow the bulgur to absorb the water (about 10 minutes). After the bulgur has absorbed the water, dump the mixture in a tray and allow to cool for 10 more minutes. Add the onions and salt. Mix it all by hand until well incorporated. Have a small taste and make sure the seasoning is to your liking.
With a bowl of water nearby, wet your hand and gently press a ball of lentil to form a slightly pressed, kofte. Garnish with parsley and paprika. I hope this nourishes your heart as it did mine! Անուշ Ըլլայ!
Armenian Vospov Kofte (Red Lentil Kofte)
Make this delicious Vospov Kofte--it's vegan, healthy and an authentic Armenian dish! It's made with red lentils, bulgur, onions, spices and olive oil.
- Cooked Lentils
- 3 cups red lentils
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon baharat
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- Cooked Onion
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 cup olive oil
- Combine together with
- 1 teaspoon salt
- (more pepper to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Wash lentils until water runs almost clear-- rinse and drain at least 4 times
Add to a pot with water-- bring to a boil and lower heat.
Cook until lentil is tender-- add spices and continue cooking until lentils are creamy and cooked through. (There should still be some water)
Add bulgur, mix well and replace lid. Let absorb for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté onions and olive on low heat until onions are brown. Careful not to burn!
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When bulgur has absorbed the water, dump the lentil/bulgur mixture into a pan and spread to cool.
Mix in salt, extra pepper (to taste) and raw onions and parsley.
Add olive oil and sautéed onions and mix well.
Dip your hand into water, and take a heaping tablespoon in your hand and gently press with your palm and fingers to form longer kofte patties.
Arrange on plate with parley and green onion garnish.
Baharat is a popular middle-eastern spice mixture. If you don't have it, you can skip this ingredient.