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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lentils With Rice

One of the great things about living in the metropolitan Detroit area is the number of Middle Eastern restaurants. I've had the pleasure of trying dishes I might never have considered before. One of my favorite meatless dishes is Moujadara with Rice. (Some prefer moujadara with bulgur but this recipe calls for rice.) I found a cookbook at Borders years ago titled "A Taste of Lebanon" by Mary Salloum. The recipes are quite simple and pretty close to what I've had in restaurants - from this book I've made tabouli, hummous, baba ghannouj... and moujadara. Here is the recipe (my notes are in parentheses):

1-1/2 cups dry lentils (washed, drained and picked over)
8 cups water
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup rice (I use regular long grain brown rice)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, julienned

Place lentils in saucepan (I use a Dutch oven - at least 4 quarts). Add water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender (an hour does it for me).

Add salt, pepper and rice to the lentils. Cook at a steady boil on low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saute onions in oil until onions are golden brown (this step is critical - you won't get the flavor unless the onions are brown and caramelized - it takes a while! Watch so they don't burn!). Add to cooking lentil mixture, stir, and remove from heat.

Serve hot or cold. (I think it tastes best warm with a dollop of cold plain yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.)

(1) 1 cup rice may be used instead of 1/2 cup. This will make the recipe thicker.
(2) 1 cup coarse crushed wheat (bulgur) may be substituted for rice.

1 comment:

My name is Julia :-) said...

Sounds delicious! You've made me hungry for onions. I think I'll start of crock of French Onion soup.


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