This is a go-to dish for many Lebanese and Syrian people, and also one of our favourites – especially because we always have the ingredients to hand at home!
- 300 g (10½ oz) lentils
- 4 large onions
- oil, for frying
- salt, to season
- 150 g (5½ oz) medium-grain burghul (bulgur wheat)
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.
- Add the lentils to a saucepan and pour over just enough water to cover them. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, cut the onions in half and thinly slice. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan, then fry three-quarters of the onion slices until crisp and deep golden brown. Set aside to drain on paper towel and season with salt.
- Add three more tablespoons of oil to the same frying pan and fry the remaining onions with the burghul for 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the lentils and their cooking water, adding a splash more water to loosen the mixture if necessary. Season with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Serve the lentils and burghul immediately, topped with the reserved fried onions.
Recipe and images from Under the Mediterranean Sun by Nadia Zerouali and Merijn Tol, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00.