Similar to Majadra, a rice and lentil stew, this Lebanese version uses bulgar instead of the rice for a healthy fulfilling side dish. It can also be served as a whole meal with a little yogurt on top and a side of salad.

Fried onions add nice flavor to this dish. You can either fry them yourself while the stew is cooking, or use the crispy fried onions available at Middle Eastern Markets and Whole Foods (Trader Joe’s carries them before the December holidays).

There are 4 types of bulgar, ranging from very thin (#1) to coarse (#4). It is available at Middle Eastern Markets and Whole Foods. Pick the coarsest type you can get.

Serves 6-8

1 cup brown or green lentils
2 cups coarse bulgar (#4)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup crispy fried onion or: 3 tablespoons olive oil and one sliced onion

1. Put the lentils and 3.5 cups of cold water in a medium size pot over high heat. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to the minimum, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes add the bulgar and salt to the pot. If your using the crispy fried onions add them now, mix the stew, cover with a paper towel and then with the lid and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the stew stand for 5 minutes before serving it.
3. If you’re not using the crispy fried onion, in a frying pan heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until nicely browned. Mix from time to time and lower the heat as needed. Mix some of the fried onion into the prepared stew and serve with more on top.