Lentils with Bulgur Wheat and Caramelized Onions: Moujadara with Burghul
- 1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch grated nutmeg
- Pinch allspice
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley, garnish
- Pita bread, recipe follows
- Pita Bread:
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
- 5 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, or vegetable oil
In a medium pot, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until still firm and almost done, 15 to 18 minutes. Add the bulgur wheat and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover, and remove from the heat. Let sit until the bulgur is tender and the water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes, adding more water is the wheat seems dry.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring, until very soft, 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and allspice, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the lentil and bulgur wheat mixture and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized to a very dark brown color, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the lentil and bulgur wheat mixture to a platter and top with the caramelized onions. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, to taste. Serve either hot or at room temperature, with pita bread.Pita Bread:
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the water. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Into a large bowl, sift 5 cups of the flour and the salt, and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast into the center well and mix the yeast into the flour, working in the remaining water. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a soft, pliable dough. Continue working the dough until it is smooth and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Knead 2 tablespoons of the oil into the dough and work the dough over itself into a smooth ball. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a damp kitchen cloth, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F at least 30 minutes before baking. Lightly oil a heavy baking sheet.
Punch down the dough and lightly knead for 2 minutes. Divide into 8 to 12 equal portions, depending upon your preference, and roll into balls. Flatten and roll with a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover with a lightly floured kitchen cloth and let rise until doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and bake on the second side, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on wire racks. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Yield: 8 to 12 breads