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!






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (6 votes)


  • 300 g (10½ oz) lentils
  • 4 large onions
  • oil, for frying
  • salt, to season
  • 150 g (5½ oz) medium-grain burghul (bulgur wheat)

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.


  1. Add the lentils to a saucepan and pour over just enough water to cover them. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until al dente.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.