Sunday, January 17, 2010



4 oz red kidney beans (about 1 cup)
4 oz large white beans (1 cup)
4 oz garbanzo beans (chick-peas)(1 cup)
4 oz lentils, preferably brown (green OK)(1 cup)
4 oz bulgur (needs to be thick bulgur-can substitute another whole-grain)(1 cup)
4 oz wheat berries (optional)
2 large onions
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil OR replace by lamb fat if doing the meaty version
Spices: salt, pepper, ground cumin (2 teaspoons or more)
3 Tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup of tomato paste (optional)
3 or 4 lamb chops (optional)

Soak the beans overnight separately in at least one quart of water.
Drain and rinse the beans the next day. Place all beans in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water and simmer for about two hours until well cooked.
Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover with water and soak for about 15 minutes, then drain.

If using meat, get a few lamb chops (3 or 4) and rub them a bit with half a lemon and set aside in a bowl. Heat a large soup pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil; pat the lamb chops dry and throw in the pot to brown for a few minutes on both sides. Remove from the pot.

Otherwise, heat the olive oil and fry the chopped onions in the oil until browned (not burnt! careful!)
Cool the onions a bit and puree them in a food processor. Add them to the beans. Add the tomato paste if using.
About 30 minutes before the 2 hours are up, add the lentils and the wheat berries (if using). Cook the lentils for about 15 minutes, then add the bulgur and the pomegranate molasses. Add the spices. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes or so, until the bulgur is cooked and soft.
Uncover the pot. If it is still too wet, cook a few minutes more; it will firm up upon cooling. Serve hot or at room temperature. The makhlouta needs to be thick and rather dry.

If using meat, place the lamb chops on top of the makhlouta.

Source for the recipe: Mijotons de Micha Sarraf, Fragrance of the Earth by Nada Saleh, The Rural Taste of Lebanon by Chérine Yazbeck. Also, used some suggestions from Haj Makari and Hashem who advised me to use pomegranate molasses.




4 bunches of italian parsley
1 large onion (or 4 green onions)
1 bunch of fresh mint
4 large tomatoes (vine or heirloom)
1/2 cup of bulgur #1 (extra fine)
2 or 3 lemons
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, pinch of allspice (optional)

1. Wash and dry the parley and mint
2. Pick the leaves and discard the stems from the herbs
3. Slowly chop the herbs with a sharp knife until they are chopped very finely, as fine as you can get them
4. Wash the onions, and chop them very fine
5. Wash the tomatoes and dice them in very small little cubes
6. Rinse the bulgur, and let it sit in a bowl with some cold water to cover or lemon juice for 3 minutes. Then, drain it into a sieve, pressing with a wooden spoon until dry.
7. Assemble the tabbooleh: In a serving bowl, put the parsley and mint, then the onion, then the tomatoes, then the bulgur.
8. Prepare the dressing: juice 2 large lemons or enough to equal 1/2 cup of juice; add the extra virgin olive oil and the spices and mix with a fork to emulsify.
9. Pour the dressing on the tabbooleh right before serving and mix the salad thoroughly.
10. Serve with some cabbage or romaine or iceberg leaves placed on a side bowl to use individually to spoon the salad in. If you have some fresh and tender vine leaves you can use them as well to cup the salad in. Sahteyn!