Mujaddara - Lentils, Rice, & Carmelized Onions - with a Veggie Salad
Mujaddara is pure Levantine comfort food. The Levant region of the Middle East (the Eastern Mediterranean countries) has some of my favorite food in the world. Think: rice, cucumbers, mint leaves, pomegranate, tons of spices, olives, hummus, etc. This dish is no exception. It's delicious.
I don't like to serve mujaddara without a salad - it seems too heavy on it's own. It's also delicious with a minted yogurt. I wanted to show how this dish could be served vegan though, so I didn't include yogurt in these photos. Tonight, we'll be eating it as pictured, but when I take it to work tomorrow for lunch, I'll take along some yogurt and maybe some golden raisins to mix in the mujaddara to change it up.
This recipe is a perfect use of my mandoline. I don't like using it when there aren't lots of veggies to chop, because it's more time consuming to clean than a simple chef's knife. For this dish, four onions have to be chopped, plus the radishes for the salad. I saved myself tons of time using my mandoline. Just be careful with your fingers, if you decide to use one!
There are a few things to mention about this recipe:
Be careful with the oil, it can spit when you throw in the onions. Don't try to fry different kinds of onions together - they have different fry times (learned this one the hard way!) So if you don't have four white onions, and you decide to use two red ones and two white ones, just keep them separate for the frying bit. You can use brown rice in this recipe if you don't eat white rice, but it needs to be soaked for an hour before using it - otherwise it will be too crispy compared to the lentils (also, learned this one the hard way).
This recipe is adapted from the mujaddara recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi.