Harak bel-usba–o or “Burn Your Finger” is a popular dish in Damascus. I think the name came from women burning their fingers trying to drop the dumpling into the boiling lentil stew. This dish can be eaten hot, room tempreture or cold. My mom used to serve it cold. She would make it a day before serving and would sprinkle the onion just before serving the dish. The dish has great flavors but also give you complete protein and your daily need of fibers.
1 cup olive oil
4 medium onion, julienne
1 pound lentils
6 cloves garlic, mashed
2 cups chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf bread
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, optional
-Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute 1/4 of the onion and saute for five minutes. Wash the lentils and add to the onions. Add 10 cups of water, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Cook the lentil cooked but not mushy. Remove the lentil from the stove and set aside.
-In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions until caramelized. Line a tray with paper towels. Using slotted spoon, remove the onions from the oil and place over the paper towel. Remove the pan from the stove and allow the oil to cool. Place the frying pan with the oil on top of the stove. Add the garlic and the cilantro and saute for couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro mixture to the lentils.
-Place the lentils back on the stove, add the lemon juice and the pomegranate molasses. Bring back to a boil. Adjust the seasoning.
-By hand, cut the dough into 1/4-inch balls and drop into the boiling lentils. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
-Spoon the lentils into deep serving platter. Sprinkle with the caramelized onion and the pomegranate seeds.