Mujaddarah (Middle Eastern Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf)
Mujaddarah, a traditional Middle Eastern dish, is sometimes made with rice, and sometimes with cracked wheat (bulgur). The grain is combined with lentils and lots of onions browned by olive oil. Like many simple classics, it’s delicious. Serve with Fattouche Salad and a steamed green vegetable for an easy meal. Though they’re the least traditional to use in this (brown lentils are the usual) I like to make this with black beluga lentils for the visual contrast.
- 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
- 1 natural salt-free vegetable bouillon cube
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked brown, green, or black lentils; see cooking tips
(or one 15-ounce can any variety of lentils, drained and rinsed)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste, optional
Combine the bulgur and bouillon cube with 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Or you can just bring to a boil, and let stand off the heat for about 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until nicely browned, stirring frequently. This will take about 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
Stir in the lentils, cumin, and cooked bulgur and continue cook until well heated through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, then season with salt, pepper, and optional dried hot red pepper flakes. Serve at once.