Everybody in America had at one time a box of Rice-a-Roni in their cupboard; well, everybody in Lebanon has a big bin of coarse bulgur and makes this at least once a week; especially if they live in a village or a rural area.
I added the red chili pepper; Lebanese cuisine is not based on heat, by definition. Mea Culpa.
Omit the pepper and make it with just the eternal couple: allspice and cinnamon. (won’t hurt my feelings!)
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 1/2 cups of coarse bulgur#4 (or at least #3)
- 1 large onion
- 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon of allspice, a pinch of cinnamon
- 1 or more red chili peppers (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon of hot pepper paste (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups of water to cook the bulgur in
- olive oil, as needed
- Heat the olive oil in a pot; add the chopped onions; fry for a few minutes and cover the pot for a few minutes till the onions are translucent. In the meantime, soak the bulgur in a bowl with some fresh tap water to cover for about 10 minutes. Drain and press the extra water out.
- Add the bulgur to the pot and stir-fry with the onions; add the spices, including salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes until the bulgur is translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, chili peppers, water, pepper paste if using, stir and cover the pot.
- Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the bulgur is cooked. Uncover the pot and let the extra water evaporate if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From: Al Tabekh Al-Arabi (Leena Bassam Shbaro)
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