by Oded Schwartz
Oded Schwartz is an author, chef and food historian with a particular passion for all aspects of Jewish food and traditional, international kitchen crafts. Oded has recently started Tamarin an Israeli based company, which specializes in pickles and preserves. For more information please contact: Tamarin.
This dish is also referred to as Esau’s favorite and though (Middle Eastern food writer), Claudia Roden dates it to medieval times,it is probably much older. It is the strongest contender to the red lentil stew, which was served by Jacob to Esau (Genesis 25).
Though it is still widely used all over the Middle East it is usually made with rice instead of bulgur. Bulgur Megadarra also played an important part in the diet of the early Jewish settlers in Palestine.
8.8 oz./250 gr. Brown Lentils, washed well & drained
8.8 oz./250 gr. Coarse Bulgur, washed well & drained
1 Small Onion, chopped
2.5 oz./75 ml. Olive Oil
2 Large Onions, sliced into thin rings
1 Quart/1 Liter Water
1. Cover the lentils with water and boil for 45 minutes or until they are almost cooked.
2. Drain & reserve the cooking liquid.
3. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add small chopped onion and fry until it starts to brown.
4. Add the washed bulgur, lentils, salt and 1 pt. (500 ml.) of cooking liquid. If there is not enough, add some water. Cover tightly and simmer very gently for 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
5. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
6. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced onions and fry gently until they are dark golden brown being very careful not to burn them.
7. Pile the Megadarra on a serving dish, top with fried onion.
Serving Suggestions: Serve either warm or at room temperature. The dish can be a salad on its own or a side dish to meat or vegetable stew, or as a main dish moistened with set yoghurt.