Cheap, flavourful, filling, and local ingredients: sort-of mujaddara. I say sort of because my Indian side can’t resist adding spices but I haven’t seen many recipes that call for it. Mujaddara is popular across the Middle East and is naturally vegan. The earliest recipe discovered for it comes from Kitab al-Tabikh, an Iraqi cookbook from 1226.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup brown lentils, sorted
- 2.5-3 cups water, depending on how soft you like your lentils
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I used one big red one and one small yellow one… it’s what I had)
- Salt to taste
- Rice or other grain
- Yogurt (optional)
- Herbs (optional)
- Tahini (optional)
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot big enough to cook your lentils over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden. Add in the turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant. Add in the lentils and bay leaves and stir it around to coat the lentils. Add in your water and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Simmer until water has absorbed (around 30 minutes). Taste and season accordingly once cooked.
- Once the lentils are simmering, you can start your grains following the package directions.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute until the onions are deeply browned and fragrant. When they’re close to being done, season to taste with salt.
- Serve over rice with onions spooned on top. A squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yogurt go a long way. Tahini is typically not added, but it adds a nice creaminess. Herbs and chili flakes are also not typically added, but they’re nice if you already have them around.