Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mujaddara, or Palestinian Lentils and Rice

No matter what craziness is going on in my personal life, I still love middle eastern food and I like to learn new recipes.  It's always delicious and almost always healthy, and many recipes are naturally vegetarian.  Perfection.  And so is this recipe for mujaddara.  I'm pretty sure I am pronouncing it wrong every time I say it, but I don't even care.  I loved it and I will make it again.  It's quick, easy, cheap, healthy, filling, and reheats great.  What's not to love?

Mujaddara is lentils and rice.  There are thousands of variations on it, of course, but I like that this one has a half and half ratio for rice and lentils.  It doesn't traditionally have carrot, but this recipe does, which I was glad for.  It added a nice color to the dish, along with some more veggies.  Arguably the best part of the dish is the caramelized onions.  Don't skimp on those!  They sweeten up the dish and play nicely with the cumin-spiced rice.  I found myself wishing I had added more onions, which I definitely will next time - and there will be a next time.  I'm going to jack up the onion amount below.


mujaddara, or lentils and rice
from Arabic Zeal
serves 4 -6

1 cup brown lentils
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, chopped finely
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 medium onions
2 tablespoons olive oil


1) Wash lentils and put in a large cooking pot with 2 cups cold water.  Add carrots and garlic.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2) While lentils cook, start soaking the rice.  Place rice in heat-resistant bowl, cover with boiling water, and stir.  Soak rice for about 15 minutes.

3) Drain rice well and mix with the cooked lentils and 1 1/2 cups hot water.  Add cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

4) While rice and lentils cook, halve the onions vertically and slice thinly.  Fry onions in the olive oil until golden brown.

5) Transfer the mujaddara to a platter and top with the fried onions.

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