I am not a night person. I have an 8-month-old baby, a 3 year old and a preteen girl. I haven’t slept in 12 years… I also have a pretty demanding job, more emotionally than physically. So, most evenings by 21:00 o’clock I am on the couch staring at any stupidity on TV that does not require my brain to function even a little bit, and fighting a losing battle with my eyelids.
I’m also not a coffee person. Can you imagine going through a surgical residency without coffee? Crazy. The kids finally broke me down. On really difficult days I’ll swallow a cup of coffee as if it were medicine just to make it through the evening.
So then there was this evening. I’d had my afternoon cup of coffee. My eldest wasn’t home. I’d managed to get the boys to bed by 20:30 (pat on back). My officer hadn’t been home for three (or was it four?) nights in a row and wasn’t expected. I was on my way to the couch (otherwise known as the land of no return), and somehow decided to head into the kitchen to try this recipe I’d seen earlier in the week.
There’s no explaining it. It’s unheard of. I guess something about having the house to myself, the complete and wondrous quiet, just made me want some kitchen time.
And I found myself still awake at 23:00 o’clock (middle of the night!!), with a wonderful dish as well.
Not to worry. The next evening I was asleep on the couch before the kids.
Majadra with Burgul and Cauliflower (adapted from “Mom’s Food” by Benny Saida)
1 1/2 cups black or green lentils
2 cups thick wheat groats (burgul)
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
1 cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 heaped tablespoons baharat spice
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
100 grams (3.5 oz) pine nuts, lightly toasted
Rinse lentils and place in bowl. Cover with boiling water and let rest for 1 hour. Place burgul in separate bowl, cover with boiling water and let rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat 1/2 cup oil in large saucepan, add onions and cauliflower and sauté for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
Drain lentils and place in large pot. Add 3 tablespoons oil, baharat, allspice, cumin, salt and pepper. Add 4 cups boiling water and bring to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
Drain burgul and stir into pot. Remove from heat and let rest for 20 minutes, allowing the burgul to absorb the fluids in the pot. Stir and add spices to taste.
Stir in onions and cauliflower. Stir in toasted pine nuts.
Serve with salad, tahini sauce or yogurt.