A long break in posting. While last few weeks could not possibly have kept me from cooking, they definitely succeeded in keeping me away from the blog.
I am glad, though, to return with a worthy recipe. Its ingredients are modest and common, which together develop into elegantly layered flavors. Mujadara is a Lebanese dish that is made of rice and lentils. While it is quite likely to be available on the menu of your favorite Mediterranean restaurant, it is essentially one of those preparations that have been cooked for centuries, across community and household kitchens of their respective food culture. Thus, you would find many variations of mujadara across print and internet resources. At its utmost basics, it is lentils and rice cooked together. More often than not,it would also be garnished with caramelized onion. With varying spices and additional flavorers, you can have endless possibilities. My take on it is vegan one-pot,which becomes a complete meal with addition of vegetables.
1.5 cups of brown rice
1 cup of brown lentils
1 medium-sized potato
1 cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen)
2 medium-sized onions
3-4 cups of vegetable stock and/ or water
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 tablespoon of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Dried herbs like mint or basil (optional)
Fresh green herb like coriander or chives (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional) for serving
- If using dried lentils, wash and soak them for at least 3-4 hours.
- Wash and soak rice for about 15 minutes.
- In a thick-bottomed pot/ pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium-high setting.
- Add half-sliced thick onion to it. Sprinkle with salt and herbs, and caramelize till golden brown with constant stirring. When done, transfer quarter of it onto a plate and keep aside.
- Add remaining oil, and fry the spices (bay leaves, cloves, cinnanmon, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes) and chopped garlic in it till fragrant.
- Add chopped potato and carrot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add drained rice and lentils to the pot, sauté for five minutes.
- Stir in the spinach.
- Season with salt.
- Add stock and/ water. Cover the pan/ pressure cooker and cook till rice is tender and chewy but not mushy.
- Serve with generous topping of caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon.