Mujadarrah is the traditional name for this Middle Eastern dish. And as plain as it looks and sounds, it is really delicious. My version was inspired by the book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.
It only requires six ingredients, all of which are items I keep regularly in my pantry (i.e. brown rice, lentils, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper). So it's great around this time of year when you'd rather stay in and not run to the store.
The fried onions are really what make this dish delicious. You want to cook them until they become dark brown. It might seem like a lot of olive oil, but it's really what makes this dish good.
I love teaching this dish to vegetarians, as it is a great source of protein - the amino acids in the brown rice, complementing those in the lentils. It is also great to take to work or on long car trips and can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature.
This dish is similar to an Indian dish, kichadi, which is often enjoyed with yogurt and Indian pickle. It works with this dish too!
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 cup basmati brown rice
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Heat large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with olive oil and add onions. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are dark brown and translucent.
While preparing onions, put lentils in saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice, and generous amounts of pepper. Cover and let cook over low heat for an additional 15 minutes, adding additional water if needed. When done, stir in fried onions. Add salt to taste.
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