Mixed is the literal translation for the word “makhlouta”. This traditional Lebanese soup consists of a medley of chickpeas, pinto beans (or any bean of your choice), lentils and bulgur. A great source of proteins and iron to serve well for people abstaining from eating meat during the lent period.
If you are vegetarian and this is your first introduction to makhlouta, trust me it will be on your to do list from now on. The ingredients look simple but the outcome is deep in flavor.
You will need:
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 cup beans (of your choice but usually it’s pinto beans)
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 2 big onions finely diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- cumin powder for seasoning (optional)
Soak chickpeas and beans for overnight or at least 12 hours to double in size.
In a deep pot fry the onions in olive oil until tender and fragrant. When they start turning into golden brown color, drain out chickpeas and beans from water and add them to the onion then the lentils and bulgur. Pour 2 liters of water and cook on medium heat. When it starts boiling, reduce to low heat, cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour. If the water reduces feel free to add some more. The level of water should be always 2-3cm above the grains.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of cumin, it gives a nice deep flavor and helps with the digestion of the grains later. Some people like to add lemon juice for this purpose.
This delicious soup serves 4-6 plates. It’s not an entree like other soups, lebanese people serve it as a main dish as it is so filling! It’s a hearty soup served in old days during winter to supply with the energy needed.
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I don’t know if there are regional variations, but the makhlouta I’m used to cook has chopped swiss chard in it, lots of it. The cumin is not optional but a must! A full table spoon in my case. The swiss chard gives it an earthy flavour and the cumin is used in most lebanese dishes where beans and chickpeas are included.
It seems yes! For me it’s the first time i hear of this version. Interesting
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