Food

MUJADARA (LEBANESE RICE & LENTIL PILAF)

Date: 24 Aug 2014 Author: Jacqui Categories: Food, International Cuisine, Main Dishes, Side Dishes Comments

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Mujadara, another Middle Eastern dish – a simple and earthy dish of rice and lentils, flavored with garlic and spices and then topped with caramalised onions.  I made this the traditional way, using the absorption method,  by sauteeing the onion, garlic and spices, adding the rice and then the stock, leave it to simmer until all the stock is absorbed.  A cheat’s way but equally good,  is by cooking everything separate and combining all at the end, i.e. boiling the rice separately, frying the onions, adding the lentils and rice and combining all.  Do what you feel is easier for you.  Probably this last method is faster.  But they both come delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of brown or green lentils, carton or canned
  • 1 1/2 cups of long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Chilli Flakes or paste (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 to 2 cups hot gluten free vegetable stock
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable or Peanut Oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into rounds and then sliced in half
  • ½ bunch of chopped parsley, for garnish

Method

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.  Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent.  Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic and chili, if using and stir until the onion is coated with the spices.  Keep on sauting on low heat until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Add a dash of water if it starts to get dry or starts to burn.

Add the rice and stir to coat with the onions and spice mixture.  Add the lentils together with their water.  Now add the hot vegetable stock.  It has to be around 2cm above the level of the rice.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to very low, cover and let cook for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the rice cooked through.

Whilst the rice is cooking, saute the halved onion rings in a small pan in vegetable oil and not olive oil.  Lower the heat and leave to cook till they are browned.  I also added a little sugar, half a teaspoon, so they can really caramelise.  If they get too dry, sprinkle a bit of water.

When rice is tender, transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and place the caramelized onions on top.

 

 

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