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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Syrian Mujaddara Recipe- Rice and Lentils

I had this recipe too many times to count and in too many variations to count. This rice and lentils recipe is a staple in many houses, and has as many name variations as ingredient variations, from majadra to mujareda to mujaddara, etc.... However you spell it, this rice and lentils dish is easy to make, delicious to eat, frugal to prepare, and is a complete protein because of the combination of grain and legume.
Did I mention that it's really yummy and easy to make? Oh yes I did, but its a point worth repeating. :-D

How do you make it? Well, the good thing about it is that the recipe is pretty flexible and there isn't an exact recipe with precise measurements. (My type of recipe. Helps me use up leftovers, adjust things to taste, and not need to get measuring equipment dirty.)
Here is the variety I like making; in my opinion, its the tastiest version by far.

Mujaddara Recipe



Ingredients
Cooked rice, either white rice or brown rice
Cooked green lentils
Fresh onions
Oil, ideally coconut oil or olive oil, but any healthy oil will work
Sweet paprika
Garlic powder
Cumin
Salt
Parsley or corriander, fresh or dry (optional)

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, mix lentils and rice. The exact proportions aren't important, but I tend to use roughly equal amounts of lentils and rice, sometimes a little heavier on the rice, but rarely heavier on the lentils.

2. Peel onion, then cut in half. Cut crescents a little less than a centimeter wide. You don't want thin slices of onions, you want them relatively thick.

3. Fill a wide frying pan with a relatively deep layer of oil and heat on a high flame. Separate onions into individual crescents and spread them out on a single layer in the pan. You don't want it to be overfilled. 

4. Cook the onions until they start to get golden on one side, then flip over and cook until they're golden on the other side.

5. Add the onions with their oil to the rice and lentils. Mix in. I usually add 3 caramelized onions to approximately 2-3 cups each of lentils and rice. 

6. Season the rice with paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. I usually add a lot of paprika, less cumin, a lot of garlic powder, and a lot of salt, but season it as you like it.

7. If desired, add parsley or corriander to your mujaddara, fresh or dry is fine. 

8. Take another onion and prepare it like the first, only this time cook it until it is crispy. 

9. Serve your mujaddara topped with the last bit of crispy, caramelized onions. I generally serve this with a side of sliced and salted tomatoes or Moroccan carrot salad.

Have you ever had mujaddara? How do you spell it/pronounce it? How do you make yours? Do you think you'd try out this recipe? 
What's your favorite way to make rice and lentils?

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