Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mujaddara (Lentils and Rice)

Mujaddara makes a great meal when you want something home cooked but don't have time to go to the grocery store. If you cook a lot, you will probably have the ingredients at home. If you don't cook often, you may still have these things in your home. Either way, this is a delicious meal which can be used as a side dish or main course. This is a middle eastern recipe that my mom learned from a family friend and has been cooking for years. Though it's pretty simple, the flavor is delicious.

1 cup of lentils 
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup basmati rice 
2 onions
2 tablespoons oil 
2 cups water 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of allspice 

In a heatproof bowl, combine the lentils with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour hot water over this mixture and let it soak at least 20 minutes. In another heatproof bowl, combine the rice with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour boiling water over this mixture and also let it soak for at least 20 minutes. 

In the meantime, thinly slice the 2 onions. In a pan warm up 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onions and fry until dark brown.

In another pan, warm another tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Drain the rice and lentils and add them to the pan. Add the 2 cups of water, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and allspice. Once the water is boiling, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and remove from heat. Place a tea towel or paper towel between the lid and pan (this helps remove excess moisture) and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Add half of the onions to the rice mixture and stir and season with salt and pepper if needed. Put the remaining onions on top of the rice just before serving.
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