Posted in Biryanis, Pilafs and Rice based Dishes, Recipes

Mujaddara – A classic, Middle Eastern lentil and rice bowl!

Some days I want to curl up with a bowl of rice and lentils without really caring about the whole carbs are bad, carbs are not bad debates. And the best part is, the grannies from the whole wide world endorse it. The lentils and rice combination makes you sleep better because apparently, it increases serotonin secretion. So while flipping through Rick Stein’s cookbook “From Venice to Istanbul”, when I stumbled across the recipe of Mujaddara, I knew I had to make it.

Mujaddara is a classic lentil and rice preparation, made of whole, green or black lentils with rice and topped with lots of caramelized onions. Usually served with a dollop of thick, spiced yogurt on the side, the dish uses minimal spices and yet, it is one of the most flavorful dishes to have on a lazy weekend. Or even a weekday, honestly, it is that easy to put together.

(1/2) Mujaddara / Moujadarrah, a Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice "Meal-in-a-Bowl", for Brunch in progress ! Wikipedia, my go, to know-it-all khazana of information tells me that Mujaddara is derived from an Arabic word for 'pockmarked', probably because it has rice dotted with lentils and caramelized onions. Can't wait to get in a bowl! Recipe: Ingredients: 1 cup green lentils / whole moong beans, soaked for 4 hours or overnight 1 cup rice 3 large onions, sliced thinly 4 tbsp of olive oil salt, to taste ground black pepper, to taste 2 tsp of cumin powder a large handful of coriander/cilantro, finely chopped 1 cup of thick yogurt/hung curd 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (mild heat ) / paprika Method: If you have soaked the lentils, they will cook very easily. I pressure cooked them because I feel it be more convenient rather than constantly attending to them. So, for that, take the beans in a pressure cooker, add enough water to just cover them, close the lid. Place on the stove and cook for exactly one whistle on medium heat. Immediately take it off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Drain the residual water and let it cool down. If you are not soaking the lentils, you can take the lentils in a wide pan with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, and cook over a medium to slow heat for about 15-20 mins when they are cooked yet retain their shape decently. Drain and set aside to cool. Cook the rice till it is done yet the grains are separate. Set it aside to cool too. In a pan, heat the olive oil and the sliced onions. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the top. Now let them saute on a low to medium heat till they are cooked and have a sweet caramelized smell to them. You don't need completely brown them, like they do for biryanis, but they need to have completely cooked and started to slightly sweeten. Rest continued in the comment 👇Blog link in the bio @d.srujan #mujaddara #sundaybrunch #brunchinprogress #mealprepping #middleeastern #middleeasternfood #vegan #vegetarian #vegetariancooking #brunch #whatsforbrunch #foodporn #lentils #rice #weekendcooking #theurbanspice #trelltalebangalore #mealinabowl #comfortfood #healthybrunch #meatfree #protienrich

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Now while you can easily prepare this dish without any pre-preparation, it is best that you soak the beans for 4 hours to overnight before cooking. The benefit of soaking the lentils before cooking, no matter which type of lentils you are using is that it helps reduce or eliminate Phytic Acid, which is believed to inhibit nutrition absorption in the body.

Recipe: ( Serves 4 hearty servings )

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils / whole moong beans, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp of cumin powder
  • a large handful of coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of thick yogurt/hung curd
  • 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (mild heat ) / paprika

Method:

  1. If you have soaked the lentils, they will cook very easily. I pressure cooked them because I feel it be more convenient rather than constantly attending to them. So, for that, take the beans in a pressure cooker, add enough water to just cover them, close the lid. Place on the stove and cook for exactly one whistle on medium heat. Immediately take it off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Drain the residual water and let it cool down.
  2. If you are not soaking the lentils, you can take the lentils in a wide pan with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, and cook over a medium to slow heat for about 15-20 mins when they are cooked yet retain their shape decently. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the rice till it is done yet the grains are separate. Set it aside to cool too.
  4. In a pan, heat the olive oil and the sliced onions. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the top. Now let them saute on a low to medium heat till they are cooked and have a sweet caramelized smell to them. You don’t need completely brown them, like they do for biryanis, but they need to have completely cooked and started to slightly sweeten.
  5. When that is done, turn the flame off and remove the pan from heat. Leave it aside for a couple of minutes to slightly cool down.
  6. Once all the three things have cooled down to the extent that you can handle then with bare hands, take the lentils, the rice and the onions in a large bowl. Season with salt, 1 tsp of cumin and pepper, add the chopped coriander leaves and toss lightly. You could do it gently with a spoon taking care that you don’t mush the lentils or the rice, or use your hands like I did.
  7. In an another bowl, whisk together the thick yogurt, salt to taste, 1 tsp of cumin and paprika/chili powder.
  8. To serve, spoon the lentils rice mixture into a bowl and top with a generous dollop of the spiced curd. Serve with lots of TLC. Bon appétit!

(2/2) Mujaddara / Moujadarrah is a Middle Eastern lentil and rice preparation with loads of mildly sweet caramelized crunchy onions. Usually it is simply spiced, served with a dollop of thick spiced yogurt. The recipe is adapted from @rick_stein 's From Venice to Istanbul. With 10 ingredients for everything in the bowl, other than sliced cucumber, it is utterly simple to put together. Who says Middle Eastern food doesn't have vegetarian options. I have used green lentils, but you could use black ones too. Though it is usually served with the spiced yogurt, the rest of the dish is completely #vegan friendly. If you want to avoid dairy, use non dairy yogurt because with its creaminess, the dish is incomplete. #mujadara #mujaddara #sundaybrunch #brunchinprogress #mealprepping #middleeastern #middleeasternfood #vegan #vegetarian #vegetariancooking #brunch #whatsforbrunch #foodporn #lentils #rice #weekendcooking #theurbanspice #trelltalebangalore #mealinabowl #comfortfood #healthybrunch #meatfree #protienrich

A post shared by Srujan Desai (@d.srujan) on

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