Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Merjumek Kufte Continues To The Next Generation

Oh, Ama, you brought red lentils!  Can we make Merjumek Kufte?  Except I don't know how . . .

We are on Indian Hill Road North in Chatham, Massachusetts, visiting friends who have never tasted Merjumek Kufte, and since our friends are ABC (see yesterday's blog), they wanted so much to learn how to prepare it.  As they watched, they didn't want to take the time to record the details, so Marash Girl has done so here.

In a large pot, place one cup of dry red lentils (ours were purchased from Massis Bakery in Watertown, Massachusetts).   Rinse well.  Cover rinsed red lentils (which are actually orange in color) with 2 cups of fresh water, bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit for about one hour.

While the red lentils are "cooking", chop up one large onion and slowly simmer in about a half cup of olive oil:
Meanwhile, prepare the pervaz.  Wash and chop one bunch of fresh green Italian parsley, one bunch of fresh scallions (with tips trimmed off), and 1 fresh green pepper.  Place in a bowl and toss.
This is the pervaz, half of which we will be stirring into the Merjumek Kufte, half of which we will be using for added garnish.  But not yet!
When the red lentils are "cooked" (i.e., open, soft and edible), add 1 cup of medium bulghur and 1.5 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off heat.  After an hour, check the mixture to make sure it is thick.  (Never add too much water at the beginning, or you will have a watery kufte.)  Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of Aintab red pepper (or Cayenne, if you have no Aintab red pepper, but use less if you substitute Cayenne).  Stir it up. As the mixture sits, it will get thicker, which may take another hour.  If you are cooking the kufte in a heavy iron pot (which you should be), it will stay warm.  When the mixture is thickened, add the onions and olive oil and stir.  Just before serving, add handfuls of the chopped greens (the pervaz), and stir.  If the kufte is still too soft, serve it in a platter.  By the time you finish dinner, it will be thick enough to make into khounches.

Merjumek kufte prepared into "khounches".  Be sure the ridges from your fingers are evident on the outside of the "khounches"!

 Or better yet, prepare well enough ahead of time so that you can shape the kufte into "khounches" and serve at room temperature as mezzeh!

Having assisted in the preparation of the this kufte, and the creation of the khounches,
the next generation proudly serves Merjumek Kufte.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of amazing children get excited about red lentils and request mejmek kufte?