Mujadara - Lebanese Lentils and Rice Recipe
Mujadara is a delicious, easy-to-make layered dish with lentils and rice topped with a layer of caramelized onions. This is a delicious Lebanese meatless dish.
, 3 chopped, and 1 sliced
Rinse both lentils and rice separately and rinse well.
Put the lentils in a large pot with 5-6 cups of water and bring to a boil, simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils ( not fully cooked), then drain.
Now, add the chopped onion to a large pot, add half of the oil and saute over medium heat until softened (for 1-2 minutes).
Add the rice to the onion in the pot and season with salt and cumin.
Add the lentil and water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 18-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside covered.
In a skillet, heat the remaining oil on medium heat and add the sliced onions; fry for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized.
Top mujadara with the caramelized onions and serve.
If you prefer softer caramelized onions, saute the onions on medium-high flame for 10 minutes, and then reduce it to a medium-low flame.
On the other hand, for crispier onions, leave the flame at medium-high and stir every few minutes.
You may use brown basmati rice, if you like. Basmati rice is the rice that is traditionally used in mujadara, and the signature aroma and flavour of this rice make the recipe very appetizing.
Avoid quick-cooking rice.
If you use brown rice, make sure that you cook it for longer.
Avoid red or orange lentils. Their softer texture will cause the mujadara to become mushy.
Make sure that the lentils you use are dry.
You can use green lentils if brown lentils are not available.
The most common way in which people make the flavour of mujadara vary is by changing the ratio of rice to lentils.
Another traditional way of making this dish is using coarse, light bulgur instead of rice.
Adding toasted vermicelli to the rice too, is a great way to enhance the flavour of mujadara.
You can cook the dish such that it attains a risotto-like consistency if you would prefer not to have the feeling of whole grains in your mouth.
You can use vegetable stock to boil the rice and saute the onions. It will make your dish more flavourful and keep it oil-free.
Adding chili powder to the Mujadara will satisfy your craving for hot & spicy if you have one.
Some people add a generous amount of cinnamon to the recipe to add some sweet and hot fun to the recipe.
Add chopped carrots, potatoes, peas, or whatever veggies you prefer for added nutrition and a nice blend of a variety of flavours.
Raisins can be added in moderate quantity in the last few minutes of cooking for a hint of sweetness.
Garnish the Mujadara with lightly toasted pine nuts for a mild nutty flavour.