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Mujadura

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Mujadura is a lentil dish eaten in many Middle-Eastern countries either as part of a meze (appetizer) spread or a meal. Very addictive. It's a mixture of heavily browned onions, lentils, and rice. I ate it a lot in Israel, both in restaurants in homes, but had never made it myself since good versions are available in the Middle-Eastern markets here. A variation uses bulgar wheat instead of rice, also very tasty. I used an online recipe but changed the technique to cook the lentils and rice separately, so that neither gets overcooked. I used brown rice and a longer cooking time, although white is traditional. The secret is to get the onions very, very brown. I used 2 Tbs. oil, and it was plenty. This is wonderful comfort food, and very healthy if you use brown rice or bulgar, only eat a moderate portion, and keep the amount of oil down.

The original recipe is here, and below is my variation. http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/03/into-pantry.html

Mujadera
6-8 servings as a side dish, more as an appetizer

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely sliced
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over for stones and other debris
½ cup brown or white long-grain or basmati rice
Water
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt, plus more for serving

In a large (12-inch) sauté pan or skillet or a Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are deeply caramelized, a rich shade of amber. If they’re burnt and blackened in spots, even better. This will take a long time--at least 30-40 minutes. Keep on medium heat, and stir every now and then.

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While the onions are cooking, place the lentils in a medium saucepan, add water to cover by an inch, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp. cumin and a pinch of salt. Reduce to a simmer and cook, undisturbed, for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Add more water if necessary. Drain the lentils, and set them aside. Meanwhile, cook the rice with the teaspoon salt. Follow instructions for cooking your rice, whether white or brown. Just don't overcook.

When the onions are ready, remove a few spoonfuls for topping the dish, and pour the rest into a casserole dish, along with the cooked rice and lentils. Mix gently. Add salt and pepper to taste--I think pepper accentuates the flavors. Serve warm or at room temperature as part of a meze appetizer spread or as part of a meal, topped with plain yogurt.

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Comments (6)

This looks delicious!

Happy New Year to you.

Mmmm...I can smell the onions, this reminds of my grandma.

sheri:

Sounds great,Amy.Really browned onions always reminds me of my mother!

nancyhol:

I love the smell of onions being sauteed too.

I am going to try this one.

Thanks, Amy!

This looks yummy, Amy. I've printed of your recipe and think I'll try it. I too love the look of browned onions.

Looks so delicious and it has one my favorite ingredients, lentils. I'm making it this week with brown rice.

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