The recipe I made this dish from was actually not the original recipe I found for it. I’d never even heard of mujadara, but one day, I was bopping around the interwebz trying to get cooking ideas and found a recipe for it. I wrote it down on my food planning calendar, but apparently forgot to bookmark it because when I went back to make it this weekend, I couldn’t find it! But what I did find was an amazing recipe from At The Immigrant’s Table, where Ksenia blogs a lot of great “special diet” recipes, like vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, food allergy, etc. She’s also super responsive, I commented with a question about the recipe and she answered it in less than an hour, which was awesome!
1 cup of brown or green lentils
1.5 cups of rice (if using whole grain, adjust rice cooking time to longer, about 40-45 minutes)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped finely
4 tablespoon oil
1 onion, sliced into half-moons
Rinse lentils and soak them in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes (If you don’t have time to soak your lentils, that’s ok – they’ll just need longer to cook).
Mince garlic finely. Chop onion finely.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic and chili, if using, and toast lightly, for about a minute. Add onions to the spices, stir until coated, and saute until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
If lentils were soaking, drain the water. To the pot with onions and spices, add 1 cup of lentils and enough water to coat them, plus one more cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Raise heat to medium-high and cook lentils for 20 minutes if the lentils were soaked (25-30 if they weren’t soaked).
While lentils are cooking, rinse your rice 3-5 times in cold water, until water comes out clean. Let rice soak in 4 cups of water while lentils are cooking.
To the same pot as the lentils add rice, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of water (if using whole-grain rice, you’ll want more water, about 2.5 cups). Cover with a lid, raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, lower heat to very low and let cook for about 25 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and rice is cooked through. Fluff rice through gently with a fork, cover with lid and let rest for another 10 minutes.
While rice is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When oil has heated through, add slivered onions. Let cook on low-medium heat until onions have browned and caramelized.
When rice is cooked through, pour contents of pot into big serving platter. Mix rice, lentils, and onions gently.
OMG you guys. Given my professed and deeply-felt love for Middle Eastern food, how have I never had this before? I’m a creature of habit…once I know I like something, I’m apt to continue ordering the same thing again and again. Generally, this is a good policy for a picky eater, but the fact that I had never discovered this amazing food before this past Sunday is a testament to the possibility of this rule of thumb to fail me. I LOVED THIS. And so did Drew! We both agreed that this is one of the best things I’ve made. It’ll be done and you’ll look at it and go “really?”, but then you’ll eat it and your tummy will be so so happy. I could hardly wait to get home to eat the leftovers for dinner the next two nights. I might be a little obsessed.