Mujadara: spiced rice and lentils with caramelized onions
Prep Time 30 Mins/ Total Time 1 Hour 30 Mins
Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
Here’s how to make mujadara: combine lentils with groats or rice, and garnish the dish with a pile of sauteed onions. We add in thyme, cumin, yogurt, and pine nuts for extra texture and flavor. The end result is delicious (and pretty nutritious).
- 7 cups water, divided
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 3 large yellow onions 1/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (such as Lucini), divided
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- Plain whole-milk yogurt (optional)
- Chopped fresh mint (optional)
Bring 4 cups water to boil in a small pot over high. Add rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. While the rice parcooks, halve and thinly slice the onions horizontally.
Heat a medium pot or baking dish with a lid over medium-high, and then add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add sliced onions, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and quite browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add a sprinkle of water if needed to keep from burning. Remove half of the onions (about 1 cup), and set aside. Add the parcooked rice, cumin, bay leaf, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pot. Cook, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lentils and remaining 3 cups water. Increase heat to medium- high, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cover and cook until rice and lentils are tender and water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
While mujadara cooks, put reserved half of onions in a small pan, and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until fried and crisp, even blackened in places, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
To serve, stir pine nuts into mujadara, and sprinkle with fried onions. If you like, drizzle with additional olive oil and a dollop of yogurt, and top with mint.
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