Moujadara (Lentil Salad)

Serves 8-10

1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups water
1 cup bulgur wheat
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch grated nutmeg
pinch allspice
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped parsley for garnish
Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils similar to this salad. Manna supposedly resembled cumin seed.
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 tsp. salt, cover and remove from the heat. Let sit until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes, adding more water if 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 tsp. 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 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 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.
(Louise Fiszer)