Saturday, November 24, 2012

Majedra - Lentils and Rice

Majedra is a Middle Eastern peasant dish that is quite hearty and delicious.  It is perfect for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians because the lentils are so nutrient rich and satisfying.  The onions are vital to this dish and give it additional flavor from being caramelized in olive oil. Majedra is eaten with a side of plain yogurt and often served with a bright salad with a tangy olive oil and lemon juice dressing.  It is delicious and you should definitely give it a try.

Majedra - Lentils and Rice
1 cups lentils
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cups rice
2 large onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup olive oil

Boil lentils in 2 cups water for 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Wash rice and add to lentils.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and 2 cups water.  Stir and bring up to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook lentils and rice for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender and water has been absorbed.  In a large pot add oil and onions.  Season with additional salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until onions wilt and caramelize, about 40 minutes.  You want to make sure the onions do not have any crunch left to them at all and that they've turned a golden brown color.  Remove from heat.  Serve lentil mixture with a spoonful of onions on top and a side of plain yogurt.

Alternately, you can mix the onions in with the lentil mixture and serve with a generous dollop of yogurt.  You should eat the lentil/onion mixture together with a bit of yogurt in each bite.  A crisp and tangy salad is the perfect accompaniment with this dish.

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