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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mujaddara Recipe Version 2- Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils


There are some foods that I've been making a certain way for years, completely unaware that there is some similar type of recipe, with the same name and with similar basic ingredients, whose taste is radically different, sometimes its hard to understand why it's called the same dish.
Mujaddara is one of those dishes.
My next door neighbor and best friend and I were talking about what we planned on making for supper, and she brought up the fact that she needed to go to the grocery store, because she wanted to make mujaddara but had no potatoes or raisins.
"Potatoes? Since when are there potatoes or raisins in mujaddara?" I asked, since I'd never heard of that in mujaddara before.
She looked at me quizzically, not understanding what the reason was for my question. "I always made it that way."
This was new to me. Curious to learn more, I asked her what exactly was in her mujaddara, because my mujaddara obviously was quite different.
"Rice, lentils, potatoes, carrots, raisins, onions, cinnamon, and cumin."
Weird, but intriguing. I'd never mixed raisins, cinnamon, and lentils before, and was curious to try it out, as I love all the ingredients, and I was sure they'd taste great together.
Based on my friend's ingredient list (but with no actual amounts given), I made up my own mujaddara recipe, still leaving out the potatoes, because I still can't wrap my head around why someone would put potatoes into their mujaddara.
The credit for inspiration for this recipe goes to my friend Jodi, who I miss, as she has moved overseas. Jodi, I have to thank you- this is one way that my kids will gladly eat lentils, and its certainly my new favorite way to eat mujaddara! (Here's my old favorite recipe, still very good.)

Oh, and did I mention its cheap, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, a complete protein, and completely delicious? Well worth a try!

Mujaddara Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups raw rice
4 cups water
4 cups cooked green/brown lentils
1 onion
7 carrots
1-2 tablespoons oil (not olive!)
1/2 c raisins
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp + 1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Instructions:
1. Cook up your lentils until they're nearly 100% soft. Measure out 4 cups.

2. Chop up your onion. Saute in oil until golden.

3. Peel your carrots, then grate them. Saute the carrots with the onions until soft.

4. Add the raw rice, cooked lentils, and water to the onions and carrots.

5. Bring to a boil, cover, then lower the flame to low for 20 minutes. Turn off and keep covered for another 5 minutes.

6. Fluff up with a fork, then add salt, raisins, cinnamon, and cumin.

Serve warm.

Have you ever made a certain food a certain way for so long, and then find a new recipe for that same dish, and switch over completely to that new recipe? What recipe was it? 
Ever eaten or made mujaddara before? Was it more like my original recipe, or this one, or completely different from both?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

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