Cook, Eat & Tweet: #AnEdibleMosaic’s Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Caramelized Onion

Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Caramelized Onion (landscape)

I have big news! Do you remember when I told you guys about joining Kitchen Play’s new project, Cookbook Tour? Well, we have an awesome new event going on to support Faith’s book, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, called Cook, Eat and Tweet. Basically those of us involved in the project are all going to cook the same dish from Faith’s book at the same time. We will be live on twitter hoping you join us. Your participation could be as simple as asking us a question about what we are doing. It could also–hopefully–be as involved as cooking and tweeting along with us. To that end, the recipe is provided below courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. Here are the details:

  • When? Saturday, January 12, 2013 from 4-5 pm EST
  • How? Participate by tweeting along with us using the hashtag #AnEdibleMosaic
  • Participation can run the gamut from questions about what we are doing to cooking along with us and posting your own photographs and results
  • Pictures? We definitely encourage pictures to be tweeted, as Kitchen Play will be creating a scrapbook of any tweeted photographs using the hashtag
  • Here is my twitter account; if you plan to participate please leave me a comment with your twitter handle so I can follow you!
  • We encourage anyone who is participating to visit Kitchen Play and register for the event so that we have your contact info. If you are a blogger, we hope you recap the event on your own blogs, in which case links from the scrapbook at Kitchen Play will drive traffic to your blog!
  • Creativity and necessary adjustments are encouraged! For example, if you cannot find brown lentils, try green (I especially recommend the French lentils du puy because they hold their shape so nicely). Or, another concern I have already heard, if you are allergic to wheat, please use rice (but adjust the directions for making rice)!

Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Caramelized Onion

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes, plus 10 minutes to let the bulgur sit after cooking

1 ¹/3 cups (275 g) dried brown lentils (or 2 cans brown lentils, rinsed and drained)
6 cups (1.5 liters) water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 pods cardamom, cracked open
2 cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (185 g) coarse-ground bulgur wheat
1½ cups (300 ml) boiling water
Plain yogurt (optional, for serving)

  1. Sort through the lentils to remove any small stones or pieces of dirt, and then rinse with cold water in a colander. Bring the rinsed lentils and the water to a boil in a lidded medium saucepan. Cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary so that they’re always immersed; strain.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet over moderately-high heat; add the onion and sauté until completely softened but not yet browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer half the onion to a small bowl and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining onion until deep caramel in color, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water as necessary if the onion starts to get too dark. Set aside.
  3. Put half a kettle of water on to boil. Transfer the sautéed onion (not the caramelized onion) to a medium saucepan. Add the bay leaf, cardamom, clove, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the bulgur and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Add the boiling water, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Give the bulgur a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the bulgur sit 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and gently stir in the lentils. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, and olive oil if desired.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the caramelized onion. Serve with plain yogurt to spoon on top, if using.



  1. says

    I hope I find myself home on Saturday at that time! I’ve been meaning to make this from Faith’s book anyway. Looks awesome from your photo!

    • Laura says

      The photo is gorgeous–just wanted to clarify it is Faith’s photo. I have not made the dish yet–I’ll be cooking on Saturday with everyone else!

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