It may be March, but there is no Spring in sight. We are inter the middle of two snow storms here in Boston so while I’d like to be gearing up for Spring time meals, warm and comforting dishes like shepherds pie and mujaddara are still dominating my weekly dinner plans.
Mujaddara is a middle eastern dish consisting of lentils, rice and caramelized onions that is popular in many countries and has many variations. Its popular in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt as well. Some of these countries add meat, some season with different spices, and some use mostly rice with a little bit of lentils. It’s one of those dishes that everyone makes differently.
The first time had mujaddara was at a small, family-owned Lebanese restaurant in Cambridge, MA called Cafe Barada. I instantly fell in love. It is a simple dish using only a few ingredients and some how ends up so flavorful.
This isn’t Cafe Baradas recipe, but they did tell me the ratio of lentils:rice to begin playing around with. I use brown rice here because that is what I usually keep on hand. Don’t substitute white rice because the cooking time will be way off and the rice will turn into a goopy mess.
This day I also made Tabouleh, so I used the remaining red onion from my tabouleh in my Mujaddara, but any color onion will work here. I also used some leftover parsley stems from the tabouleh but those are completely optional.
The mujaddara takes about an hour total in time, but only about 10 minutes of hands on time. It also makes quite a large portion, but I like to make this on the weekend and have it for lunch at work throughout the week.
Serve with Grain-Free Tabouleh (recipe coming soon!), pita, and hummus or a a drizzle of tahini.
Serves: 6 as a Main
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Diced (1.5-2 Cups)
1 tsp Ground Coriander
6 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock (I use Better than Bullion)
6-8 parsley stems, tied together with butchers twine (optional)
1/2 Cup Brown Rice, Rinsed
2 Cups Green Lentils, Rinsed
Place a large dutch oven with a well fitting lid over medium heat. Add olive oil and diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are nicely brown. Add coriander and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and stir. Add all of the veg stock, the parsley stems if you are using them and the brown rice. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
After the 25 minutes has elapsed, add the rinsed lentils, stir and simmer covered for another 25 minutes.
after 25 minutes, remove the lid and simmer with the lid off for 10-25 minutes stirring occasionally until the lentils are cooked through and most of the water has been absorbed. Remove the parsley stems, and enjoy!
Let me know how you liked this recipe and if there is anything else you’d like to see me make!