Mujadarra: Lentils, Caramelized Onions and Rice
This truly has to be one of the most frugal recipes we have ever shared. It wasn’t long ago that I posted a simple lentil salad using little more than caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar – and then I find out about this delicious staple dish, also using lentils and caramelized onions as the foundation, along with rice; omitting the balsamic and adding a bit of spice completes the flavor profile. Mujaddara is a Middle Eastern vegetarian/vegan dish which relies on pantry ingredients, with the exception of onions (which are quite economical anyway) and the optional fresh parsley. Perfect for a Meatless Monday.
The 3 cups of lentils and rice expand to what can accurately be described as a VAT, plenty for at least 6 people to have hearty servings, 8 or more as a side dish. But the protein and fiber certainly make it a contender for a great vegetarian main dish; I prefer a ratio that’s higher in lentils to rice, personally, but you could adjust this if you like. You’re going to have three pots going at once (unless you want to prepare the lentils and/or rice ahead of time), but don’t worry, it’s all VERY simple stuff.
- 1 cup brown rice (I like short grain)
- 2 cups green lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (perhaps regular for cooking, and extra-virgin for finishing)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)