After recently recovering from Covid-19, I had absolutely no desire to cook! Losing the ability to smell and taste kind of messes with your appetite… I did make 3 batches of chicken soup that I couldn’t taste or smell so not sure if it had any healing powers! Thankfully my senses are back so I was looking for something different to make. I came across a recipe from The Mediterranean Dish for Mujadara. It’s a Lebanese Middle Eastern dish made with black lentils, long grain rice, and onions…lots of onions! Neither Teresa nor I had ever tried this dish before but it sounded really, really good. It was! You can make this as a side with some chicken or as a main dish. All I can say is you have to try it because it’s delicious comfort food with unbelievable flavor and it’s Gluten-free!
Mediterranean Mujadara: Lentils, Rice and Onions 😋😋
- 2 large skillets
- 1 small bowl for soaking rice
- 1 small covered saucepan for par-boiling lentils, use to set aside after par-boiling and draining
- 1 cup black lentils (sorted and rinsed)
- 4 cups water , divided
- ¼ cup EVOO , more for later
- 2 very large yellow onions , large dice (4 cups)
- 1 tsp kosher salt , more to taste
- 1 cup long-grain white rice , soaked in bowl of water for 10-15 inutes then drained & set aside
- black pepper
- ½ - 1 tsp cumin , (I used 1/2 tsp)
- parsley , for garnish
Fried Crispy Onion Garnish
- 2 -3 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 very large yellow onion , cut into very thin rings
- In a small saucepan, place the lentils with 2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the lentils are par-boiled (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat, drain and set aside back in the saucepan.
- Place the long-grain white rice in a small bowl. cover with water and let soak for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain then place back into the bowl and set aside.
- In a large saute or skillet pan with a lid, heat 1/4 cup EVOO over medium-high heat until the oil makes "ribbons". Add the diced onions and cook covered (40 minutes) until dark golden brown, darker than normal caramelized onions. You may lower the heat so they don't burn. Add kosher salt. Stir occasionally and keep the lid on between stirrings.
- Carefully pour the remaining 2 cups of water into the onions. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and par-cooked lentils into the onion mixture. Add a good dash of kosher salt, black pepper, and the cumin.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are both cooked through. (About 15-20 minutes)
- In a second skillet, heat 2-3 Tablespoons EVOO until hot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough add thinly sliced onion rings in batches and fry until they are crispy and deeply golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined dish to drain excess oil.
- Let the rice and lentils rest covered for about 10 minutes undisturbed, then garnish with crispy onions & parsley and transfer to serving bowls.
- Optional: Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a nice tomato, cucumber salad. You can also add leftover cooked chicken for those that must have "meat" in the dish.
Please note: Although the Nutritional Facts are provided, we are not nutritionists and therefore cannot verify the accuracy of these calculations. Please verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.