By Hattie Ellis

Grains and pulses are more nutritious and delicious when combined. Mujaddara is a Middle East mixture of bulgur wheat and lentils that is adaptable to other grains such as rice. The mixture is jazzed up at the end depending on what’s around – at its simplest just a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar and a dollop of chilli sauce, but traditionally also chopped herbs and a scatter of crispy fried onions (see below). 

Eat as a vegetarian meal or to bulk out fish or meat.

• 250g coarse bulgur wheat
• 250g brown or green lentils
• 1.2 litres water
• 1 tbsp ground cumin (or a Middle Eastern spice mix)
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped

1. Soak the bulgur in plenty of water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a medium-sized pan with the water, spice, garlic and 1 tsp salt. Stir, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 

2. Drain the bulgur and stir into the lentils. Bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed by the grains.


Onions keep well and this recipe is a great way to jazz up a staple such as Mujaddara.

• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 3 large onions, sliced

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onions until crispy and brown, taking care they do not burn by stirring occasionally, and more often towards the end. Turn the heat off before they go too dark as they continue to cook in the residual heat in the pan. 

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