Nothing means mountain rustic food as much as makhlouta, or the “mixed,” and it is in fact a mix of several kinds of beans and a bit of coarse bulgur, all cooked together in a thick brown porridge-like sauce. Makhlouta is a definite winter dish that needs no excessive spice or seasoning, but just the ingredient’s pure, rustic flavors. It is also a Lenten dish, and often served on Good Friday.
- 1/2 cup (125 g) dried white beans
- 1/2 cup (125 g) dried red beans
- 1/2 cup (125 g) dried chickpeas
- 1/3 cup (55 g) coarse-grind bulgur
- 1/3 cup (64 g) brown lentils
- 4 medium yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kamal Mouzawak
Soak the white beans, red beans, and chickpeas in separate bowls of water to cover for at least 10 hours. Drain the beans, add to a large pot along with fresh water to cover, add the bulgur and the lentils, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until all the beans are cooked and tender to taste.
Finely chop the onions. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until lightly colored. Add to the beans, then add the cumin, season to taste with salt, and cook for 30 more minutes. The consistency of the soup should be porridge-like—not too thick and not too thin. Serve hot.