The recipe I’m sharing today may be an unusual recipe to some of you. Called Mujadarah, it’s a dish we grew up with that evokes fond memories of my Mom wrapping her jar of homemade yogurt in towels to keep it warm enough to inoculate and frying the onions in her large cast iron skillet until they caramelized. To make it vegan, eliminate the yogurt.
Mujadarah/Lentils with rice and cumin
Go to taste on seasonings. Some people like to stir in some of the cooked onions into the lentils and rice.
3 very large yellow onions
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup whole brown lentils
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
5 cups water
1 to 2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Plain yogurt or Tzatziki (cucumber & yogurt salad)
Chopped greens (opt)
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper (opt)
Slice onions and cook, covered, over medium heat, in oil until caramelized/dark brown. You’ll start out with a lot but they will cook down considerably. What happens is the onions’ natural sugars come to the surface and create a caramelization, making them taste sweet.
Combine lentils, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and water in pan. Cover, bring to boil and cook over medium heat, covered, until lentils are half cooked, about 10 minutes. Add rice and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Water should be absorbed but, if not, drain off. Adjust seasonings. To serve, put onions over Mujadarah and garnish with yogurt and greens.
Tip from Rita’s kitchen:
If using brown rice, check package directions for liquid and time needed.
Lentils help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and contain protein and B vitamins.