Friday, August 3, 2007

Mujaddara - Lentils and Rice

Here's a recipe that Alex sent me since he's not able to post to the site easily. Alex: we miss you!!!

Heya Lily,

Here's a recipe for y'all's blog, which you'll have to post for me
since blogspot seems to be banned at the moment. It's called
"Mujaddara" and I'm not totally clear on the origin. I feel like
someone said it's Palestinian, but seeing as everyone makes it that
doesn't seem to be a terribly convincing statement. This is how I was
taught to make it by an Allepan girl who's friends with my roommate
Elizabeth:

1 smallish glass of brown lentils(probably 1/2-3/4 c.)
1.5 smallish glasses of rice.
Onions (the more the merrier)
Olive Oil

Optional:
Arabic spice mix (called "baharat" - available at your local Arab
grocery, or there are probably recipes online. Should involve
allspice, and have a sort of darker brown color.)

Cook lentils in water until soft. Add rice, and 1.5x of water(Leaving
the water from the lentils in the pan). At this point, you should add
salt to taste, and if you want, Arabic spice mix(again, to taste).
Allepans apparently do not add this, while Jordanians do. Cover, cook
until rice is done. You may need to add more water.

Now here's the part that makes this more exciting (slightly) that
being just sad vegan fare. Put a goodly amount of olive oil in a pan.
Slice onions very thin. Add to olive oil, cook until carmelized and
crispy. Pour extra olive oil over the rice-lentil mix. Add onions to
each serving individually.

I serve it with plain yogurt, which I quite like. It's a really simple
recipe, not fancy at all, in fact kind of boring. But when it's
ungodly hot(it was 107 when I made it last), it makes a really
refreshing meal with the yogurt. I also put out a plate of olives and
sliced middle eastern style pickles (i.e. no dill).

Miss you,
Alex

3 comments:

Marjorie Magidow Schalles said...

A glass of rice! This is how Grandma Jenny used to tell me recipes - I forgot all about it. And it was always a different glass, usually a reused jelly glass. I am looking forward to making this. I need to vary my menues a bit. I made a huge vat of vegetable stew, but didn't refrigerate it over night, and with the warm nights lately, it "went off." At any rate, it had some serious pro-biotic action that was not pleasant. More for the compost heap....

Lillian said...

Hey Al,

I finally made this, but I'm not sure if it turned out right. I might not have added enough water, because it was more of a moist pilaf than any kind of soup/stew. Is that what I'm aiming for? I also tried to make an improvised version of baharat, but I think it would have been better without it. All things said and done, it was pretty good, and a nice simple accompaniment to a meal.

The Middle Child said...

First, it is supposed to be a moist pilaf(that sounds dirty somehow), rather than a stew. Also, it is more traditionally made with bulgur, which I think is way tastier.