Mujadara

I’d been meaning to make this dish for awhile now.

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I’ve had a bag of lentils that hadn’t been touched since I bought them almost a year ago (!).

I think I know what part of the problem was. You see, while I do love my adorable, sweet, thoughtful, and caring husband….he does have some flaws. He doesn’t like beans (or cheese). Seriously-I think I found the only Mexican that does not like beans.

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Jose’s face after trying beans.

Actually, this is one of my favorite photos of him. And he didn’t try beans, he had just tried coffee, which he also doesn’t like, and is, of course, another one of my favorite things.

It’s not that I can’t make what I like every now and then, it’s just that usually when I cook dinner, I cook for both of us, and it’s not as often that I bother to cook a whole meal that only I would like.

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Maybe it should happen more though.

Mujadara is a traditional Lebanese dish which consists of lentils, rice, and onions. That’s pretty much it. I am told that my grandmother used to make this but unfortunately never tried hers. I have, however, tried both good and bad versions at restaurants. Yet I hadn’t made it myself until now.

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I topped my bowl with some crispy kale because I had one of those days where I realized I hadn’t eaten a single vegetable…and I highly recommend this because crispy kale is delicious and is a perfect complement to the dish. You can also top with Greek yogurt or hot sauce but I didn’t feel that it needed anything more. I am usually all about toppings but sometimes it is enough just to enjoy the flavors of a few simple ingredients together.

Mujadara (Lentils + Rice)

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • I cup dry, uncooked brown lentils
  • ½ cup dry, uncooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped/diced (does not have to be finely diced)
  • 3 ½-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 cups kale, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until browned.

Add rice and lentils and stir to mix with onions.

Add water, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for about 1 hour or until water is absorbed. You may need to add more water while cooking; I need to add an additional ½ cup after cooking for 40 minutes.

Serve topped with crispy kale, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, hummus-or as is!

For crispy kale: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add kale to small mixing bowl and massage olive oil into kale. Add spices, mix again, and spread onto baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired crispiness.

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