This recipe draws on the Arabic traditional dish called mujadrah (moo-JAH-dra), especially beloved in Lebanon and Egypt. For centuries, it has nourished the poor because it provides plenty of complete protein, without meat. Mujadrah also has pleased the rich, because it just tastes so good. —Robin Mather Jenkins
This recipe is by Robin Mather Jenkins and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, one half chopped, one half sliced into 1/8-inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup lentils
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 Cup instant brown or white rice
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 Cup plain yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Step 1: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1/2 chopped onion and 2 cloves chopped garlic; cook until onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 1 minute.
Step 2: Add 1/2 cup lentils and 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth. Heat to a boil; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until lentils begin to soften, 15 minutes.
Step 3: Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil; add 1/2 onion (cut into slices). Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are dark and crispy, about 10 minutes. Set aside in pan.
Step 4: Stir 1/2 cup instant brown or white rice into lentils; cover. Cook over medium-low heat until rice and lentils are tender, about 12 minutes longer. Garnish each serving with the caramelized onions, a dollop of yogurt and a generous scattering of mint.