Friday, July 15, 2011

Egyptian Lentils, Rice and Cartelized Onions- Mujadara

Middle Eastern mujadara lentils and rice dish

Mujadara ( pronounced moo-ga-dara in Egypt) or (Mih- jed -dera in Lebanon) is a delicious, yet simple, Middle Eastern entree made with  brown lentils, rice, and caramelized onions. 

Chana, Pulses, Daal, Food, Lentils

This is my mother-in-law's recipe from Egypt
I learned to make this tasty recipe from my mother-in-law who was born and lived in Cairo, Egypt in a Jewish community. They had a wonderful life there until for many generations until the late 1960's when the political climate began to endanger and threaten their lives because they were Jews. 

She escaped with her husband and 5 children ranging from age 6 months to 17 years. She still misses and has great memories of her home, life, culture, food, and community in Egypt. However, she learned English, worked many jobs, and made a new stable life in New Jersey at the age of 49. Although they couldn't bring money or possessions with them, she did bring her incredible recipes.

Naturally gluten-free, Mujadara is a healthy plant-based entree that is quick and easy to make. It is also a complete protein that is high in valuable fiber, iron and other minerals that our bodies need. 

Lime, Citrus Aurantiifolia, Fruit

I served this tasty recipe last week with a large wedge of plain steamed red cabbage (which was fabulous too- I love cabbage) doused with a generous splash of fresh lime.

Red Cabbage, Vegetables, Kohl, Violet

Use any kind of rice that you like: 
Brown rice, white rice, or basmati. 

Personally, I used brown rice in this recipe.
It's all made in one pan and is quick and easy. It is a frugal, yet healthy recipe that fed the peasants but is fit for a king. 

1 cup brown lentils, cleaned and washed
1 and 1/2 cup rice
Vegetable broth or 2 Tablespoons of olive oil for sautéing.
  •  ** I have learned I can sauté the onions without oil over a high heat for a few minutes, stirring continuously, and then add 1/4 cup of water or broth and allow to simmer on a very low flame until onions are soft and reddish color (saves a lot of calories and fat)
2 onions, sliced and caramelized
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds or ground cumin (or more to taste)
4 and 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
optional: pinch of cinnamon (I prefer not)
salt and pepper to taste.
1/2 cup chopped parsley to decorate

In a large dutch oven type of pan, sauté the onions in oil (or water) on slow until they are reddish and caramelized. Add lentils and rice on top of the caramelized onions and allow to toast a little;  stir or toss frequently for about 5 minutes Add cumin and water (or broth) bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer covered on low until rice and lentils are soft. (about 1/2 hour) Add salt and pepper to taste and cinnamon if desired. 

** NOTE: Add the salt after the lentils are soft; some say if you add the salt in the beginning, it will keep the lentils from softening up.  Top with chopped parsley.

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegan, and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.

Author: Judee Algazi

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  1. I absolutely LOVE this!!! People forget that you can eat this well on a special diet! I think they only see the deprivation of what you can't eat, rather than seeing the breadth of the many fabulous foods still available to you ... :)

  2. Delicious!!!!!! Love your berry ice cream description too. Sounds amazing!

    1. The recipe is delicious and the berry ice cream is amazing..

  3. I love that touch of cinnamon in this dish.Thanks for sharing, Judee.

  4. My disloyal friend canceled our outing this afternoon to a renown Middle Eastern restaurant. I was so disappointed and soooo craving the cuisine, I made this. All I can say is I AM ALMOST GLAD SHE CANCELED! This is so delicious, so simple and healthy and yummy and different like all the recipes on your marvelous blog.

    And while I'm at it, let me also say how I'm enjoying the personal writing and essays you've been doing lately. It adds to the richness of the cuisine. Grin. And thanks.

    1. So glad that you enjoyed the authentic Middle Eastern recipe and my writing. This is one of my favorites as well.

  5. Yum!There's nothing like feasting on tasty Mujadara; Lentils, Rice and Carmelized Onions! Thanks for sharing this delectable recipe with us at the Plant-based Potluck Party. I'm Pinning and sharing this!

    1. Deborah,
      I have to agree but not everyone has tasted it. Once you have, you are hooked


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