I keep falling in love with Mejadra. It is one of the simplest dishes to prepare, yet is so incredibly delicious. Mejadra is a dish made with brown or green lentils, rice and caramelized onions. Mejadra first appeared in Iraq at 1226, and is a derivative of the biblical "mess of pottage" Jacob used to buy Esau's birthright. It has since become a staple in the Arab world, and is also very popular among the Jewish Middle-Eastern community . Like many other wonderful dishes, it was considered a "poor man's food". In Israel, Mejadra is a popular dish made by many. My soon to be mother-in-law taught me her recipe, and with minor adjustments, I share with you this mouth watering delicacy.
I like to use french lentils because they hold their shape and don't become mushy. If you want to make this with brown rice, add the rice to the onions and cook for 30 minutes, then add the lentils and cook for another 20 minutes.
1 1/4 cup french lentils
1 1/2 cup white basmati rice, rinsed & drained
2 large onions, diced
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs cumin
4 cups water
Salt and pepper
1. In a large wide pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, stirring occasionally 10-15 minutes, until the onions are caramelized but not burned.
2. While the onions are going, place the lentils in another pot with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, and drain the lentils in a colander, than rinse with cold water.
3. Add the rice to the caramelized onions, and stir for a minute.
4. Add the lentils, cumin, a tablespoon of salt, pepper, and 4 cups of water. Stir, and cover with a lid.
5. Reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Do not open the lid.
6. Turn off the stove, and allow the mejadra to steam, covered, for another 10-15 minutes.