Recipe Corner: Lentil Keyma with Mint, Tomatoes and Parsley


By Christine Vartanian Datian



2 1/2 cups yellow or red lentils, rinsed

3/4 cup fine bulgur

2 large white or yellow onions, finely chopped

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4 cups water

1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or a little more)

Fresh chopped mint, tomatoes, parsley and green onions (about 1 cup each)

Sea salt or Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Aleppo pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or a little more)

1/2 cup olive oil  (or a little more)

Fresh lemon wedges



Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with hot water.  When all the liquid has been absorbed, drain bulgur and set aside.

In a large pan, cook the onions in butter and olive oil until slightly browned, and set aside.

Bring the water and broth to a boil in a large pot, add the lentils and stir; reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are soft, stirring a few more times.

Remove lentils from the heat, and set aside until cooled. When the lentils are cooled, pour the browned onions over the lentil mixture, and add the bulgur, spices and seasonings to taste.  Mix or wet your hands and knead to combine all ingredients.  Check seasonings, adding more salt, pepper or paprika to taste.  If this mixture is too dry, add a little olive oil and knead to combine again.

Form this mixture into oval or round shapes, and toss with chopped mint and parsley.   Serve keyma on a platter and garnish with a variety of chopped mint, tomatoes, parsley or green onions.  Decorate with paprika or cayenne pepper and serve with fresh lemon wedges and a tossed Armenian or green salad, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at

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