Posted in Recipes, Soups

Makhlouta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup !

Makhlouta/Makhluta translated to mixed in Lebanese Arabic, so in its simplest meaning, Makhlouta is a soup or a bean casserole of sorts, of mixed beans and grains. Traditionally made in the mountains in the winter, it is easy to make, versatile and in most ways fuss free. It is also cooked and consumed in Lent when devouts abstain from meat.Another tiny trivia that gleamed when I dug up a little bit on this soup was that, it is also prepared at the end of the winters, to use up the tiny portions of beans leftover to prevent them from spoiling as the weather get warmer and before the new harvest comes in.  In any way, when I stumbled upon the recipe, it sounded so hearty and satisfying, I knew I was going to make it for my soup nights. It is typically a mix of 5-7 beans and grains and everyone uses whatever is available in the pantry.

Makhlouta / Makhluta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup – soup 22 of #100happysoups ! I will confess, the soup turned out to be much less fancy than it's name, when I first stumbled upon it on a blog. In all ways, it is probably a cousin of our humble misal but even more simply spiced and seasoned than misal to tell you the truth. Makhlouta / Makhluta literally translates to "mixed" in Lebanese Arabic and this soup is essentially a mix of 5-7 beans and a grain or two of choice that are soaked for 8-10 hours before being simmered into a soup with seasoning. One blog says that this soup was made in olden days to use up the leftover beans at the end of winter and before the spring harvest so that the old stock doesn't go waste. Another blog calls it a dish consumed in Lent when the devout fast and abstain for meat. In any way, I liked the idea and promptly decided to make it. I have used barley as the grain but whole wheat grains, broken wheat or even brown rice works. The beans I used were Chickpeas / Garbanzo, Kidney Beans, Whole Red Lentils ( Masoor ), Red Double Beans, and Whole Black Lentils ( Urad ). They cooked until soft and simmered with sautéed onions, salt, pepper and cumin. A squeeze of lemon and a handful of parsley ( I used coriander ) and it is done. It is hearty, it is tasty ( no I am not saying this for the sake of it, it was yum!! ) and it is easy to make. I should probably remember that we Indians don't own a copyright to simple things like mixed beans. The recipe is up on the blog to wake it up from hibernation! 😁 #makhlouta #makhluta #mixedbeansoup #lebanese #srujans100happysoups #vegetarian #beansoup #indianfoodiye #nammabengaluru #nammabengalurufoodie #bangaloreigers #igersbangalore #myblr #sobangalore #trellfood #trelltalebangalore #foodtalkbangalore #foodtalkindia #goodfoodindia #indiancuisine #buzzfeedindia #srujans100happysoups

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I used Garbanzo, kidney beans, whole red lentils (masoor), red double beans, white haricot beans and some barley as the grain, but you can use anything you have at hand. For grains, you can choose from whole wheat, wheat berries, bulgur, cracked wheat or even use brown rice. No matter what you choose, I can assure you it will turn out delicious!

Recipe: ( Adapted from Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen here ) serves 3-4


  • 1 cup of mixed beans ( use any from garbanzo, navy beans, butter beans, brown lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans or any that you might have at hand ), soaked for 8-12 hours or overnight,
  • 1/4th cup of barley/whole wheat/wheat berries/bulghur/brown rice, soaked for 8-12 hours or overnight,
  • 2 medium onions, very finely chopped,
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped, (optional),
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil,
  • Salt, to taste,
  • ground black pepper, to taste,
  • juice of half of a lemon,
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin,
  • 1/2 tsp of Za’atar (optional),
  • water or vegetable stock, as needed,
  • a large handful of chopped coriander leaves/parsley


  1. Drain and rinse the beans and grains in plenty of water. Transfer it to a large pot with sufficient water or stock if you want to cook it in an open pot on stove top.  Alternatively, you can also cook it in a pressure cooker with 2-2.5 cups of water for about 4 whistles. Once the pressure settles, open the cooker, check it the lentils are cooked and set aside. Give it an extra whistle or two if the beans are still hard. If you are using bulghur or broken wheat, you can cook it directly in the pot too when simmering the soup.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide, thick-bottomed pan. Add the garlic, if using, and fry until it has softened. Add the onion and cook on a low to medium heat until the onions are browned.
  3. Season the onions with salt, pepper and cumin. Add cooked the beans and grains and mix well. Adjust the consistency with more water or stock and turn the heat to low.
  4. Simmer everything for 15-20 mins stirring intermittently, adding more water or stock if needed to maintain a thick soup like consistency. The soup will thicken as you simmer and will thicken further as it cools down.
  5. When it soup is simmered to a proper consistency, turn the heat off, add the za’atar ( if using), coriander/parsley and lemon and mix well.
  6. Serve ladled into bowls on its own or accompanied by toasted/warmed Pita Breads.

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