Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mujadrah (Lentils and Rice with Onions)

Yummy Middle-Eastern recipe based on one I found on allrecipes.com (there are many versions on the Internet, just type "lentils and rice" into Google):


6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large white onions, sliced into rings
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups uncooked green lentils
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (you can use brown rice, but it takes more time and liquid)
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

Suggestions for variations on the basic flavor: substitute chicken stock for some of the water, add ginger and/or cinnamon or curry powder, add other veggies (e.g. canned diced or crushed tomatoes), add raisins plus a bit of sugar for a sweet version.


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and turn down the heat to low, cook them slowly until caramelized, about 20 - 30 minutes (this makes them very sweet). Just before the onions are done, add the minced garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Place lentils in a medium saucepan with just enough lightly salted water (and/or chicken stock) to cover them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes.

Stir rice and enough water to cover into the saucepan with the lentils. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Cover saucepan, and continue to simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and lentils are tender. Mix half the onion/garlic mixure into the lentils and rice. Top with yogurt or sour cream and remaining onions to serve. For casein free diets, just top with onions!

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