Monday, September 27, 2010

Mujadara

Here's a recipe I adopted from Bon Appétit's November 2003 issue. (You can find the original on Epicurious.)  I thought the recipe was okay as is, but made some slight changes with the spices (using whole instead of ground).  I also added my own homemade vegetable stock--highly recommended for flavor and controlling the amount of salt.  Here's a good recipe for a light vegetable stock.  Don't be tempted to leave out the blackened onions!  They add this wonderful sweetness and crunch to the dish.

The mujadara, waiting to be topped with the blackened onions.
Adapted from:
Lebanese Lentil-and-Rice Pilaf with Blackened Onions 
Bon Appétit | November 2003

Ingredients:
2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced finely
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-inch cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp ground allspice
28 oz vegetable broth
3/4 C dried lentils, rinsed, picked over
1 C basmati rice

3 tomatoes, quartered lengthwise 
1 cucumber, peeled, cut into rounds

Procedure:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions, season with salt, and sauté until soft and beginning to blacken, 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, and cardamom pods and cook until toasted and fragrant; add garlic and allspice and cook until garlic turns golden. Add chopped onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and sauté until onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add broth and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in rice; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice and lentils are tender, about 15 minutes longer (add some water and cook down if rice is not tender).

Season pilaf to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer to plates; top with blackened onions. Place tomatoes and cucumber alongside.


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