Lentil With Dough (Hara’a Ousba’ou)

hor osba'a

“Hara’a Ousba’ou” is a funny name for a dish because in Arabic it means “Burning Finger”. Despite its strange name, it is still a delicious dish. While popular in its county of origin Syria, it is still a hidden gem of Lebanese Cuisine, taking side-stage to more known dishes like hummus and mjaddara.

The lentils are cooked with home made dough in this recipe, but you can save time by using fried pitta bread instead, it works equally well.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 1/3 cup water (more or less depending on the flour used)

Preparation of the dough:

  • Mix the flour with salt , add the water little by little until you have a smooth dough
  • Cover with cling film and let it rest for one hour

Ingredients for the lentils:

  • one cup green lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 large onions, cut into wings
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 5 garlic gloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Wash the lentils, and place in pot with water, boil until tender, it will take about half an hour
  • Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, fry the onions until brown and put aside
  • Crush the garlic with a teaspoon of salt and mix with the chopped coriander
  • Heat the other tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic with coriander then put aside
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 cm thickness, and cut into small square, place them into a slightly greased tray and bake half the quantity in the oven until they turn golden, leave the remaining uncooked

hor osba'a 1

  • When the lentil is cooked add the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, half the fried onions and half the fried garlic, leaving the remaining to decorate the plate
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste, then place the uncooked dough with the lentils and let it cook on a very low fire for about ten minutes
  • Place the lentils onto the serving plate, decorate with the remaining onions, garlic coriander and the cooked dough and serve


Mjaddara (Lebanese Way)

For a long time, Mjaddara has been considered food for poor people because the ingredients are very cheap and easy to get. Lentils, onion, rice and some spices. However, nowadays  due to increased interest in healthy food containing proteins, iron, and vitamins we find Mjaddara being increasingly served at lunch or dinner parties. Did I mention that it is also one of our many Lebanese mezze dishes? Yes, it is. We can have it as a side dish, and even as a main dish. So here is the recipe I learned from my mother 🙂


  • 2 cups of lentil of broad white lentils
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Egyptian rice ( small grains)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Boil the lentils in 2 litre of salted water, it will take about 30 minutes. Then drain it from water
  • In a pot heat the olive oil and fry the onion until light golden color
  • Wash the rice and add it to the onion with one cup of water, leave it ten minutes on a very low heat, until the rice is half cooked
  • In the meantime, put the cooked lentils in a food processor and puree them
  • Add the puree of lentils to the onion and rice, if you find the mixture is too thick, add a little water
  • Season with salt, seven spices and cumin, stirring always the lentils until the rice is well cooked
  • Pour the Mjaddara on a plate and leave until it is completely cold and set
  • Serve it with salad and pickles.

Sometimes I may boil excess lentils and after they are well cooked I’ll put the remaining in the freezer until I need them again.