Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Mujadara is a classic Middle Eastern pilaf of rice, lentils and caramelized onions. I make this all the time because it is so nutritious and satisfying. Make a big batch and you can eat it for days. Everyone loves it.
- 3 lbs white onions, sliced moderately thin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 1⁄2 cups brown lentils (not red lentils or french lentils!) or 1 1⁄2 cups green lentils (not red lentils or french lentils!)
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron
- salt and pepper
- flat leaf parsley, for serving
- Melt the butter along with the oil and 1 t. salt in your largest skillet, and add the onions.
- Set heat on medium-low and stir occasionally until very soft, about 45 minutes then turn heat to medium high and keep cooking and stirring often until deeply browned and sweet, another 20 minutes or more.
- Deglaze pan with the veggie broth and stir into the onions to get more flavor. See “caramelized onions” in Joy of Cooking for a more thorough description of the process if needed. If pressed for time you can do a higher heat version of this but the results won’t be as tasty.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice and the lentils separately according to your usual method. The lentils need to be watched carefully. You don’t want them still crunchy , but you definitely want to retain their shape. We aren’t making lentil soup here. Some folks cook the rice and lentils together but I don’t think that gives you enough control over the texture.
- When everything is cooked, fold the rice, lentils, spices, half of the onions, and more salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- To serve, form a large mound, top with the remaining caramelized onions and chopped parsley, a grind of pepper and a few grains of sea salt. Pass a bowl of thick Greek yogurt to mix in as desired. It is really good at room temperature, and just gets better after a day in the refrigerator.
This is an awesome vegetarian meal. The caramelized onions are really the only topping you need, but I did also serve it with yogurt and chutney. I cooked all three components at the same time, so everything came together rather quickly. It was filling and perfectly seasoned.
This dish is heaven! It may take some time to make, but it's worth every minute spent. Actually, if your organized with this dish, you can cook the onions, brown rice and lentils all at the same time. Then it's only a matter of combining ingredients and then devouring it. Sooo good! This dish is going into my Best of 2013. Served this with Persian Tacos W/Vegetarian Option. Made for the NA/ME tag, September, 2013.
Yummy and hit the spot! Although brown rice is healthier, white rice is more traditional and gives better contrast but there's no need for a star deduction. Easy, economical, very healthy, tasty. Served with a simple mixed green salad to make the meal complete. Made for NA*ME tag/March.