Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mujadarrah: Lentils, Rice, and Carmelized Onions

The other day, I was on the look out for something very very simple, made from ingredients I had on hand, that was also new and delicious: enter Mujadarrah (or, depending on your spelling preferences, Megadarra, Mjaddarah). It is a basic dish and seems to be common in a variety of places in the Middle East.

Here are the ingredients (get your pen, its a long list!):
lentils (I used green)
onions (as many as you can get)
olive oil
salt and pepper
(some recipes called for cardamom, some didn't- I didn't have it so it isn't in mine)

this is hacked together from a variety of recipes on the internet:
heat some oil (I used a tablespoon or so, the recipes call for up to 1/4 cup), slice onions (I used 3 small onions) and cook in oil until soft. Cook on low/medium until really brown and caramelized- this is going to take a while!

In the meantime, put about 5 cups water in a pot, boil it, and put in 1 and 1/4 cup lentils. Cook about 20 minutes or so, then toss in the rice (I used brown rice, so tossed it in a little earlier and also added some more water) along with a bit of the onions and salt and pepper. Cook about 30 more minutes until rice and lentils are cooked. Serve with sauteed onions on top.

I might have thought that this would be overly bland, but the caramelized onions really were nice and flavorful, and it let you focus on the flavors of the lentils and rice. I like it! The only problem is, anything that involves caramelizing that many onions is not a quick dinner!

(In case you're wondering, the bread in the background was another attempt at flatbread, which went way better than the roti did, I actually liked it a lot. It is cumin/sesame flatbread from over at Kahakai Kitchen- check it out!)


sock puppet said...

Mmmm, mujadarrah is my favorite thing from that lebanese place on westwood.

hilariously, one time when ordering take-out i pronounced it "mujara-dara" with an extra "ra" in there, and ever since it's been hard to get out of the habit of mispronouncing it.

boylerpf said...

That looks absolutely yummy! I am a lentil fan...any color. They have this nice subtle peppery flavor.

yellowfish said...

oooooh, is that the stuff you used to get from there? now I have to go back and get some to test my for authenticity!

and yes, lentils are a staple of my diet!

melroska said...

sounds yummy. this is one i'll have to try, i looooove lentils.


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