During the Holy Month of Ramadan last year, there was a cookery show on TV which showcased some dishes for Iftar( the meal taken at dusk after the day long fast). The show had 3 segments – vegetarian dishes, non-vegetarian dishes and desserts. It was there I was introduced to Mujadarah. I made a mental note and forgot all about it subsequently. I came across Mujadarah once again in the July month’s issue of Woman This Month magazine, published in Bahrain. I knew I had to make it this time.
Wikipedia says, Mujaddara is a popular Levantine dish, and may be served on its own or with other vegetables and side dishes: it is equally good hot and cold. This dish is a main staple of the Syrian,Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, north Saudi, and Israeli diet today, both in the Middle East and in North America. While once regarded as a poor man’s dish, it is today considered a high-protein, balanced healthy food by many Americans.
I really loved the idea of having a vegetarian , Middle-Eastern and a healthy rice dish in my repertoire. The final product was really yumm. I had it hot with Baghara Baingan( a Hyderabadi dish). Though the Baingan was not satisfactory( for me, atleast), my husband loved the combo and relished the dish.
Here’s the recipe;
Source: James Claire in Woman This Month
3 big onions , thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, (I used olive oil)
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup of green lentils
1 and 1/2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
3 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
salt, to taste
parsley to garnish( I had run out of parsley)
- Heat oil and butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook until they are golden and caramelized. Remember to stir often.
- When the onions are ready, remove a small portion for garnish. Add teh garlic and the spices to the remaining onions and saute until fragrant.
- Add water and deglaze the pan, scraping of all the browned bits.
- Add lentils and bring to a boil. Cover and simmmer for 15 mts.
- Add rice, bring back to boil and stir to combine the ingredients. Cover pan and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
- Remove from heat and let it stand for 15 mts before serving.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and reserved caramelised onions and serve