Mujadarra, a classic Middle Eastern dish, consists of black lentils, brown rice, and caramelized red onions. Serve with a little sour cream for a new favourite easy and unique side or main.
Have you been following along with me for any length of time now, Dear Reader? Or is my world at Lord Byron’s Kitchen a new adventure for you? Well, if you’re new here, you’re most welcome to stay as long as you want and follow along as I share stories and parables about my life and family. But, more importantly, scroll through my recipes pick a few that you’d like to try. As usual, I promise to keep my recipes simple and easy, with a list of ingredients you can find almost anywhere, and no special kitchen gadgets will ever be required.
If, however, you’ve been with me for sometime, and you are not new to my little world on the web, then you must be able to recall my story about our farmers’ market visit and the abundance of organic, dried beans and legumes; yes? I’ve shared with you my excitement about finding a vendor that sold only organic products for so little money. Anyway, this recipe is the result of one such farmers’ market purchase.
Now, before I get too far along, let me start by stating that you will not need to visit a farmers’ market to buy the ingredients listed below for this recipe. And, if you can’t source organic black lentils, regular brown, green, or red lentils will do just fine.
And, if you decide to purchase canned lentils, (rather than cook dried lentils) that’s absolutely fine as well. Just be sure to drain and rinse them very well. And, because many varieties of canned vegetables are salted, be sure to taste as you cook this recipe so that you don’t over salt.
So, what exactly is mujadarra? Well, mujaddara is a dish that consists generally of cooked lentils with rice and onions. There are a few alternative spellings in the English language for mujadarra, which consist of: majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardarar, or megadarra. (I thought I was spelling it incorrectly for so long!) 🙂
Lentils are very popular in the Middle East and form the basis of many dishes. Mujadarra is a popular dish and is usually served with yogurt, but I opted to serve my version with sour cream. The sour cream adds a cooling, creaminess to the dish and rounded out the flavours extremely well. Through internet research, I was able to learn that it is a common practice for some to eat mujadarra during lent. Don’t you just love food trivia?
With an abundance of cooked black lentils and brown rice on hand, I began scouring through my Pinterest boards and my cookbooks, looking for inspiration. When I found this dish, I knew it needed to be made. I already had the main ingredients, and in addition, I had just purchased three pounds of red onions. Now, red onions are not the norm in this dish, and you can certainly use regular yellow onions, but the red onions have a more mild flavour for me.
But at the end of the day, I don’t care what colour the onions are as long as they are caramelized! Who doesn’t love caramelized onions!? Seriously, Dear Reader, I can eat them like candy. They’re so delicious. I can’t believe there was a time when I would never, never – under any circumstance – eat onions. Now, I put them in everything. I’m like that grandma in the Frank’s Hot Sauce commercials. 🙂
Just one last thing before you get to the recipe – check out these photos! Doesn’t this dish look like something you’d want to prepare and serve to your family and friends? This dish, folks, is budget cooking at its best! Enjoy!
Mujadarra - Black Lentils with Brown Rice and Caramelized Red Onions
- 4 cups black lentils, cooked
- 4 cups brown rice, cooked
- 4 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving (optional)
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the vegetable oil, onions and half the salt.
Saute the onions until caramelized. You want a deep caramel colour and a slight crispiness to the onions. This should take about 30 minutes. Don't worry if some of the onion doesn't get crispy; it will all work out in the end.
Add the garlic and saute for two more minutes.
Next, add the cooked rice and lentils. Add the other half of the salt and the black pepper. Toss to coat and cook until the lentils and brown rice are heated through - about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, saving some to garnish the top.
Plate and serve with a dollop of sour cream.
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