Makhlouta : The word makhlouta means a mixture probably it comes from the combination of different kinds of beans and whole grains this dish contains. Makhlouta is a healthy vegetarian stew high in fibre and protein that's why preparing it to my children when they were young was a joy to me as well to them after finding out the benefits of it. This dish has been known conventionally in Lebanon for years, this recipe is distinctive with the amazing flavour of cumin. One more thing the beans and the pearl wheat need to be soaked in water overnight.
Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 mins
Serves: 6 to 7
1/2 cup red beans
1/2 cup white beans or
1 cup only red beans if white not available
3/4 cup pearl wheat
1/2 cup lentils
1/4 cup coarse burghul
2 cups cooked chickpeas
One large onion chopped
11/2 tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 to 3/4 tsp cumin as desire
2 tbsp olive oil
10 to 11 cups of water
First soak the beans and the pearl wheat in water after washing.
The next day drain them, wash and put in a large cooking pot, add water to cover them and cook for 7 mins. Drain then add around 10 cups of water, cover and put over high heat until it starts boiling then lower to medium heat and let it cook for 40 mins. Meanwhile In a skillet fry the chopped onion with 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat until dark golden stirring continuously.
Clean the lentils from small rocks, wash and let them boil in a separate pot for few mins, strain then add to the pot cover and let them cook for 7 to 8 mins over medium to low heat. Now add the coarse burghul, the fried onions, the salt, the cinnamon and the cumin cover and let it simmer for another 20 mins stirring from time to time. Finally add the olive oil and the chickpeas after washing well if jars and keep for another 5 to 7 mins. Usually I keep cooked chick peas handy in the freezer, I advise you to do it because it is healthier and always ready to use. I already posted it in my hummus recipe.
Cooking time may not be always suitable depends on the kind of beans and grains, but they should be soft and well done. Sometimes you may have to add a bit of water especially if you had to heat another dish again.
Serve it hot or warm as desire. I can say that this nutritious dish is very easy and affordable , a bowl of this stew with toasted pita bread makes a delicious meal .