Zaytoun Palestinian Recipes: Maftoul Mujaddara
Um Hikmat, from the village of Deir Ballout, is a member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association. Deir Ballout is known to be one of the best maftoulmaking cooperatives, thanks to the skills of their mentor, Um Hikmat, who conducts local maftoul-rolling workshops. This labour-intensive product is made from organic wheat, rolled by hand and sun-dried.
Mujaddara is a traditional and much-loved vegetarian Palestinian dish originally made with lentils & rice, and garnished with caramelised onions. Um Hikmat’s version substitutes rice with nutty organic maftoul. Hearty, healthy and economical, this dish is many vegetarians’ favourite. It exemplifies Palestine’s cucina povera, or “peasant cuisine” whereby humble but high quality ingredients are used to produce delicious fare that is fit for kings.
- Heat 125ml olive oil in a pan, add dry lentils and roast over high heat for 3 minutes.
- Add 1½ litres of water, bring to the boil, then turn down to low heat, cover the pot for 30 minutes.
- Heat 60ml olive oil and roast maftoul on high heat in olive oil for 3 minutes, then add it to the pot containing the lentils.
- Add salt and pepper, and mix maftoul and lentils together well, and cover the pot for another 20 minutes. Add more water if needed.
- Fry the onion slivers on high heat until golden brown and caramelised.
- Fluff the cooked grains over a platter.
- Top with the caramelised onions. Serve with a side salad or natural yoghurt.