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Mujadara is a decadent dish with flavorful, creamy lentils, fluffy rice, and aromatic fried onions. This vegetarian dish is a standard in Jordan and around The Middle East. It is usually served with Salata Arabia, an Arabic salad made of tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.
The traditional way to serve this dish is to add crispy fried onions. These onions are the star of this dish. This dish is the perfect go-to meal when you don’t have much in your fridge. It is also inexpensive to make. All you need are some brown lentils.
What is Mujadara?
Mujadara is a traditional Arabic dish made up of spiced lentils, rice, and caramelized onions. This dish is made in many different countries across The Middle East, and it tends to go by slightly different names. It has slightly different tastes depending on the region it is made in. A fun fact about mujadara is that mujadara is the Arabic word for “pockmarked.” This is because of how the lentils look as they are scattered through the grains.
Tips For the Best Mujadara
- Add some olive oil and spices to enhance the flavor. I like to add cumin and turmeric to the lentil water while cooking since I do not use stock.
- I also sprinkle sumac on the onions when they are frying.
- Fry the onion first so that you can add some to the rice and lentils while they are cooking. This will give the dish a stronger onion flavor.
- I like to use an equal amount of lentils and rice. For each cup of lentils, I use one cup of rice. However, there are no set rules. If you like more lentils, add more! Just make sure you don’t add too much water; otherwise, the dish will turn out mushy.
- Make sure to use the whole kernel of lentils, not cracked lentils.
- You can use either long or short-grain rice. Some people also like to use coarse-cut burghul, which gives the dish a great texture.
Start by making the fried onion. Cut the onions into a moon shape, then toss in the flour and cornstarch mixture and let it sit for ten minutes.
In the meantime, heat one and a half cups of olive oil in a skillet. Once it is hot, add the onions into the pan in small batches and cook on high until they turn brown and crispy. This should take about 15 minutes. Then take the onions out and place them on a plate lined with towel paper.
Wash the lentils and add them to a pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil. Add the cumin, turmeric, salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
While it is cooking, wash the rice and soak it in warm water for about 20 minutes. Strain the rice and mix it into the lentils. Check if you need to add a little more water. You should have just enough water above the lentil rice mix about a half-inch.
Then lower the heat to low, cover, and let it cook for another 25 minutes until the rice is nice and tender. Turn off the heat and keep the lid on for 10 minutes.
Plate the mujadara on a platter, top it with fried onion and sprinkle with sumac.
|2 cups brown lentil|
|2 cups long-grain rice|
|3 large onions (cut in moon shape)|
|1 cup olive oil|
|1 tablespoon cumin|
|1 tablespoon turmeric|
|2 tablespoons flour (plus 1 tablespoon of cornstarch)|
|2 tablespoons salt|
|2 teaspoons sumac to sprinkle at the end (optional)|
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