These terms refer both to the shape of the noodles used, and the dishes prepared from them.
Dry tarhonya looks like this:
And lebbencs is the name of these large sheets of dried noodles, which are broken into smaller pieces before cooking:
Depending on the amount of water added, both can be a soup or a main dish. Traditionally, these were prepared in a special pot (called bogrács) on an open fire, using bacon, smoked meat and/or sausages as well, and fewer vegetables. The version I’m going to describe in this post is much lighter and it’s for vegetarians, but the main nature of the dish is the same.
2 Tsp cooking oil, 200 ml tarhonya, 2 carrots, 1 parsley root, 1 potato, 1 green pepper, 1 tomato, salt, paprika powder, 400 ml water (for a main dish, add more if you’d prefer a soup).
- Peel the carrots, parsley root and potato, then cut into thin pieces. Remove the core of the green pepper and cut it into slices. Divide the tomato into quarters.
- Heat the cooking oil, then fry the tarhonya in it for a few minutes, stirring continuously. Add the vegetables, and go on with the frying until the tarhonya gets brown.
- Add the water. Season with salt and paprika powder. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer until soft.
- Serve hot, with home-made bread.
The same dish can be prepared from lebbencs as well.