Updated: May 18
Lentil and Rice with caramelized shallots
Mujadara is an ultimate comfort food in the Middle East. It makes for a perfect side dish or an entire meal. In recent times, I have been adding a the yellow beets to give the Mujadara a little bit of texture, and to get my family to eat beets! The nice thing about this dish is that the ingredients are easy to find. Adding allspice and cinnamon to the rice and lentil elevates the flavor. If you choose to serve this as a main vegetarian dish, I have found that serving this with either plain yogurt or a cucumber and yogurt salad is a big hit.
As a side note, there are several schools of thought regarding soaking the rice before it's cooked. This is especially important if you use Basmasti rice. The process of soaking the rice before you cook it helps to cook the rice more evenly.
1 1/2 Tablespoon ghee
1 onion, sliced
3/4 cup brown lentil
3 1/2cups water
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Yield: serving for 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the rice in a bowl, and add 2 cups of cold water to cover. Set aside to soak.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of the ghee on medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until golden.
In a separate pan, cook the lentil with 1 cup of water on high heat for 10 minutes.
Once the onions are golden, add the rice and also the remainder of the ghee. Stir to coat the rice with the ghee. Add the cumin, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Mix well.
Add the cooked lentil with all its cooking liquid to the rice. Now add the remainder of the water (you may need to add more water. Just don’t add too much that the rice becomes mush). Lower the heat. Cover the pan and let the rice/ lentil mixture simmer for 10 minutes. The rice should be tender. Season to taste.
3 shallots, sliced
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons canola oil
Toss the sliced shallots with the flour.
In a frying pan, add the oil. Add the shallots, and brown about 2-3 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
Add to the crispy onions to the Mujadara.
If using the yellow beet, spiral the beet with a hand held spiralizier.
Fry with the canola oil for 1-2 minutes. Remove, and allow to drain on a paper towel.
Toss in a bowl with some salt.