The Middle Eastern equivalent of a vegetarian burger pattie, these lentil kofte are both hearty and full of flavour. All you have to do is fill your pita with a little bit of freshness and dinner is as good as ready.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (40 votes)


  • 100 g fine burghul (bulgur; see Note)
  • 400 g can lentils, rinsed, drained and roughly mashed.
  • juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1½ tbsp tahini
  • 1½ tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp dukkah plus extra to serve
  • olive oil spray


To serve

  • wholemeal pita bread, warmed
  • hummus
  • rocket
  • tomatoes, cubed
  • radishes, sliced into matchsticks

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 25 minutes

Place the burghul and a large pinch of salt in a bowl and pour over 160 ml boiling water. Add the lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and stir with a fork for 30 seconds. Set aside for 15—20 minutes until the water has been absorbed. 

Mix together the tahini, tomato paste and pomegranate molasses in a large bowl. Add the lentils and dukkah and mix well. Add the bulgur, season to taste and mix until the burgul is evenly mixed through the lentils. Taste and adjust the balance adding more tahini, pomegranate molasses or lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Preheat an oven grill to high. Shape the mixture into 8 equal sized kofte. Line an oven tray with foil and spray with oil. Spray the kofte with oil and cook for 7–8 minutes, turning once, until golden and starting to darken around the edges.  

Spread pita with hummus and top with rocket, two kofte, tomato and radish. Sprinkle with extra dukkah and drizzle lightly with pomegranate molasses. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.



• Burghul, also known as bulgur, is available from Middle Eastern food stores, continental delis and in the health food section of some supermarkets. 


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Lou Fay.