Mujaddara Recipe – Traditional Middle Eastern Rice

Mujaddara Recipe is a traditional Middle-Eastern rice dish in combination with lentils and the distinguishing element – the caramelised onions – this dish is also called the Medieval ‘poor man’s dish’ as it requires just a handful of simple ingredients.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Onions, Salt, Sugar, Masoor Dal (Whole), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Bay leaf (tej patta), Onion, Garlic, Basmati rice, Whole Black Pepper Corns, Salt, Parsley leaves, Pine nuts, Lemon   For the caramelised onions 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4 Onions , thinly sliced Salt , to taste 1/4 teaspoon Sugar Other Ingredients 1/2 cup Masoor Dal (Whole) , washed and soaked for 2 hours 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Bay leaf (tej patta) 1 Onion , finely chopped 5 cloves Garlic , finely chopped 1 cup Basmati rice 1 teaspoon Whole Black Pepper Corns , crushed Salt , to taste 4 sprig Parsley leaves , finely chopped 2 tablespoons Pine nuts , for garnishing 1 Lemon , cut into wedges for serving     180   45     To begin making the Mujaddara Recipe, we will first cook the lentils. To cook the lentils , in a pressure cooker, combine the lentils with 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure to release naturally. Drain the excess water from the lentils and set aside. The lentils should be whole and yet cooked and have an al dente texture.To make the caramelised onions, heat olive oil in a shallow frying pan on medium heat, to this add the sliced onions, salt and sugar. Cook these onions by stirring them occasionally until we achieve the desired colour of our caramelised crispy onions. This will take about 15 minutes on medium to low heat. When the onions are well caramelised and crispy turn off the heat and set aside. To make the Mujaddara, heat a tablespoon oil in the saucepan. Add the cooked lentils, spices, salt and half the caramelised onions to the oil in the pan. Toss together to mix.Add the rice and toss once again. Add about 1-1/4 cups of water and also any remaining water from the lentils and give it a stir. Cover the pan and cook until all the water is absorbed and the grains of rice and lentils look fluffy and separate and not mushy. Once all the water is absorbed, turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes before you can serve.Once rested, add the chopped parsley and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer the rice to a serving platter and garnish the rice with the rest of the fried onions and pine nuts.Drizzle lime juice, just before serving.Serve Mujaddara along with Fattoush With Za’atar, Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses and spiced yogurt or Grilled Aubergines with Tzatziki for a weeknight dinner.