This is yet another lentil dish. This one is from the Hermel region in the north of Lebanon. I picked up the recipe in Chef Ramzi’s The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon and wanted to try it because, well, I love garlic, olive oil and lentils.
Easy and fast and healthy recipe.
I adapted the recipe slightly, as it called for 1/2 cup of crushed garlic (!!!!) which even for an inveterate garlic lover sounded a bit excessive.
- 1 cup of lentils
- 20 cloves peeled and mashed in a mortar with a pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste. Black pepper, a dash of allspice (optional)
- 3 cups of water to cook the lentils in.
- Cook the lentils in a pot with a bit of water until done. Add the black pepper and allspice if using. If using one cup of lentils, then 3 cups of water should suffice. The idea is not to have a lot of water left when they are cooked, just enough to keep them moistened.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the mashed garlic. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic is golden. Pour the garlic and olive oil in the pot with the lentils and stir to mix.
- Taste the seasoning. I like to add uncooked garlic in addition to the fried garlic but this is strictly your call.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or green onion as a garnish.
To add yet more garlic, I placed a few cloves in a small pan covered in foil and poured a couple tablespoons of olive oil and roasted them in a 300f oven for 30 minutes or so.
Chef Ramzi points out that local folks also cook this dish by adding tahini and lemon juice after adding the garlic and olive oil. I tried it and did not care for it.
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