One pot Mujadara
“Need is the mother of all inventions” or so the saying goes in Arabic. Mujadara is not a one pot dish normally. But at the moment my life is far from normal. With no help with my little one, my time can’t absorb excessive cooking or washing up so decided to cut some corners. Once again this dish has many themes and variations, in fact many names too, as most dishes in the Middle East do. But if you only have a few items in your pantry i.e brown lentils and rice, this is ideal.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 cup bismati rice
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 table mixed vegetable and extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Chicken bouillon powder
- 1.5 tble spoon sea salt plus another tsp for frying onions
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 mixed spice
- 1/2 black pepper
- a pinch of crushed mystic spice
- 1/4 sweet pepper powder
- What makes Mujadara taste savory and really good is the slivers of fried onions that any respectable arabic cook adds as a garnish to this rice dish. I did not have the luxury of time to do so, nor to be honest, want the extra calories added (although is totally delicious). I cooked everything in the one pot you see above. So in order to get some of that delicious friend onion feel, I fried the onion in the oil at the start and added salt and let it all caramalise for ten minutes. They wont really burn or darken as there is salt in there. Once the onion cooked well and caramalised on medium heat, I added the washed lentils and fried everything for 3 minutes ensuring you don't break the lentils. I added 4 cups of water and half of all the spices above (i use the rest to season the rice before I fry with the lentils). Please add or reduce the spices as you see fit. Let the lentils cook on gentle boil for ten minutes until they are al dente. Meanwhile, wash the rice thoroughly and season with the spices above and drop into the water and lentils and cook everything for another 12 minutes. I like to cover the lid with kitchen towel as it keeps the steam in. I like to serve Mujadara with yogurt and a small side salad. Bon appetite.