Friday, March 5, 2010

Mujadara


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mujadara

Since I have a slight aversion to meat, I’m always on the lookout for filling dinners that don’t require me look at nor handle raw meat. I saw this and thought it sounded interesting. I love lentils and I’m always up for new ways to prepare them, other than in soup. The caramelized onions are my favorite part of this dish, they are so delicious. I didn’t have any fresh herbs, so I added dried thyme leaves and parsley to the lentils as they cooked. Also, the recipe says to drain the lentils well, but I really didn’t have much liquid to drain off since the lentils absorbed most of the veggie broth. Since you do need to prepare things separately, adding them all together at the end, this recipe does take some time to prepare, though it’s not difficult. Separate pans could be used for the onions and lentils, but then you won’t get all the residual yummy browned onion bits into the lentils. Either the lentils and/or the onions could be made in advance, stored in the fridge and slightly warmed before serving. Just don’t cheat and turn up the heat to hurry along the cooking of the onions; they just won’t get meltingly sweet unless cooked over low heat for a longer period of time.



Mujadara
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Serves 3-4 as a main dish

For the lentils:
1 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c diced carrot
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c dried green lentils
2 c vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
Cumin, to taste
Turmeric, to taste (opt)
Cayenne pepper, to taste (opt)

For the rice:
2 c vegetable broth
1 c basmati brown rice
1 bay leaf
½ tsp turmeric

For the caramelized onions:
2 medium sweet onions, sliced
1 Tbsp butter
Pinch granulated sugar

For the final mujadara:
1/2 c chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 Tblsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

First get your rice going. For me all the ingredients go in my rice cooker on the brown rice setting.

Next, caramelize the onions. Heat skillet over medium heat, add butter to melt, and then add onions and pinch of sugar. Sauté about a minute, then cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until melting and golden brown, about 20-25 min. Remove to small bowl.

In the same skillet, add the olive oil, carrot, onion, garlic, sauté til soft, about 5 min. Add the broth, scraping up all the browned bits. Add the lentils and bay leaf, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 15 minutes. Taste the lentils to make sure they are seasoned to your taste. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the lentils, rice and caramelized onions. Add the parsley, thyme, lemon zest and juice. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjust any other seasonings, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. I served a multigrain flatbread on the side.

adapted from Hedonia

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