{recipe} Mujaddara, Megadarra, Imjadara, GO!

I love the food of the Levant and the Middle East. I’m an unrepentant omnivore, but the vegetarian dishes from this region are so hearty and delicious on their own, meatless eating doesn’t seem like a punishment.

One of my favorites dishes is a rice and lentil one called mujaddara. Or megadarra. Or imjadara. The medieval Arabic cookbook, The Book of Dishes, aka Kitab al-Tabikh, from 1226 featured a recipe for mujaddara, which originally included meat, but has evolved over time to be strictly vegetarian. Variations in nomenclature, and rice to lentil proportions, depend on the local culture and traditions of whomever is cooking it. It’s deceptively flavorful with just a few ingredients, and super cheap to make.

Since I’m not in the Middle East I decided to try out: native American wild rice instead of the usual long grain white or brown. Score! It not only tastes even better, it looks nicer and doesn’t get mushy.

mujaddara.jpg

RECIPE: Mujaddara, Megadarra, Imjadara, GO!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup french lentils
  • 3 medium onions, sliced in thin half-moons
  • Olive oil
  • Salt or Homemade Veggie Bouillon
  • Black pepper

METHODS

Start the wild rice cooking first, boil 3 cups water then add the rice, turn to simmer gently and cover. Let cook for 50-60 minutes, check toward the end to see if more water is needed to keep from burning.

While that’s going, slice the onions and fry in about ⅛” olive oil at medium to medium high heat in a cast iron or other heavy pan until they are nicely caramelized and getting crispy. I like to add some salt, or veggie bouillon, to the onions to help get them crispy and flavorful as they cook – about ½ teaspoon should do it.

Onions-cooking.JPG

While the onions are doing their thing, start the lentils, add them to a pot with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until just tender but not mushy.

Caramelized-onions.JPG

When everything is finished, combine the wild rice, lentils and caramelized onions in a big bowl with some pepper, and optional extra olive oil (about a tablespoon is what I find works for me – you can omit if you like). Some people like to mix the rice and lentils, and use the onions as a big garnish, but I like to mix them all together for maximum flavor punch, so you have some room to experiment. Taste the mix, and adjust salt as needed.

STORAGE

Mujaddara keeps well in the fridge, and can be frozen for future meals. You can serve it as a main dish, a side dish, or as a filling in a sandwich. It works well hot, room temperature, or chilled.

About these ads

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: cooking, Dinner, Grains, recipe

Author:Gina M

Gina Martin lives in Coxsackie, NY with her husband and two children. Gina is a Contributing Writer at Albany Kid Family Travel, a leading family travel and educational enrichment blog, and is the creator of CWAPdotCWAP.com, which replaces her previous blog ModSchooler. Multiple food allergies and family health issues have challenged her to develop healthy but delicious homemade treats and staples that can pass for “regular” food.

Join The {from scratch} Community!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive blog updates, food swap information and other events. Join our public FLICKR group to share photos of your 'from scratch' endeavors!

7 Comments on “{recipe} Mujaddara, Megadarra, Imjadara, GO!”

  1. May 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I love mujaddara and this looks amazing! I will have to get creative in order to make my onions crispy, since I don’t have a cast iron pan…

    • May 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Any heavy bottomed pan should work too – it’s just the really thin ones can have hot spots, and make burned bits. Try it out at the medium to medium high heat, and see how that works out.

      • May 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        Okay, thanks. Is non-stick okay? I think that’s all I’ve got… They’re fairly thick, though.

        • May 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

          It should be okay – just be sure to use the oil, even though the pan is nonstick, because that’s what helps give the crispy texture, not to mention the complementary flavor to the caramelization.

  2. Weatherly W.
    May 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    We make the same dish, but in Armenian we call it Vospov Pilaf. I have used both a nonstick and a regular All-Clad pan for the onions and they both work fine.

  3. September 11, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Love the sweetness of this dish, I eat it with thick plain curd. Yum. X

Start a conversation --> We love feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: