Vegetarian. Gluten-free. Easy to make. You need this mujadara recipe in your repertoire.
One of my favorite friends shared this recipe with me years ago when we were both living in Ohio with no kids and busy husbands who rarely came home for dinner. She knew that I liked to cook a large batch of food that I could enjoy (all by myself…) throughout the week after getting home from teaching my middle school cherubs. Not only is this recipe healthy and good for you, it is also VERY budget friendly. A winner all around.
Lentils, basmati rice, and a couple of onions cooked until they are crispy … I always cook extra onions because I like to eat them right out of the hot pan. Don’t believe any recipe that tells you that you can caramelize onions in less than 20 minutes. Lies. It usually takes a solid 20 to 25 minutes to caramelize 2 to 3 onions when I cook.
This mujadara recipe is perfect if you are feeding one or seven – this recipe even tastes better the next day. I am feeding too many people these days to have any leftovers, but don’t be wary of the large quantity of food this makes – this might be the best leftovers you’ve ever had.
Now that my older kids like to help in the kitchen, they are responsible for preparing the Lebanese salata that goes on top. Don’t skip this step! The cool, crisp salata is absolutely perfect on top of the warm lentils and rice.
Mujadara with Lebanese Salata
- 2 to 3 large onions , sliced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups lentils , rinsed
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water (maybe more)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cumin or garam masala
- 1 large tomato , chopped
- 1 large English cucumber , chopped
- 1 bunch scallions , chopped
- Small bunch parsley , chopped
- 2 to 3 T olive oil
- 2 to 3 T red wine vinegar
- Coarse sea salt
In a 3 quart saucepan, combine lentils, rice, broth, water, and cumin.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until all the water has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender. Stir occasionally to make sure the lentils and rice are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
In a separate, heavy-bottomed pan, caramelize your sliced onions - stir and cook for at least twenty minutes until they are dark brown with some nice blackened bits on the edges.
Add the cooked rice and lentils into the pan with the caramelized onions and stir to combine.
Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and parsley. Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar and coarse sea salt. Top mujadara with salata.