On Sunday December 7, 2014, Akleh, our community kitchen in Beirut, became the stage for a filming session to document the preparation of “Makhlouta“, a traditional recipe from Aarsal. The SlowMed team in Lebanon composed of a chef, a dietitian, three camera men and their coordinator interviewed and cooked with Ms. Halime el Houjeiri, the president of Aarsal Food Processing Coop.
Makhlouta is a dish commonly prepared in mountain villages during winter and is often associated to the lent period. In Aarsal, this substantial dish is usually prepared in winter and is served hot.
Halime explained that in Aarsal, Makhlouta is made by boiling chickpeas, beans, lentils, bulgur wheat, potatoes and onions, no stir-frying involved. Salt is the only condiment added.
A generous portion of extra virgin olive oil is responsible for the rich aroma of Makhlouta which combines very well with the earthy flavour of lentils and the buttery flavour of beans and chickpeas. Halime amused the team with proverbs from her area that hail chickpeas as a substitute for meat while serving them their lunch, with the “Akleh” of the day being: Makhlouta!