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Mujaddara Bowl

December 4, 2012

Mujaddara (3)DECEMBER 3rd, 2012 — Upon returning from my trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan with The Olive Tree Initiative, I was looking forward to recreating so many of the great things I had over there, especially since I decided some time ago that Middle Eastern & Mediterranean food is my favorite cuisine.

Though throughout the trip, it was a LOT of pita, salad, and hummus on a daily basis, and grilled, skewered meats, one of the new dishes I tried was mujaddara, an Arab, lentil-rice, peasant dish that I had the first time in Bethlehem, and then again in Majdal Shams (a Druze village in the Golan Heights).

So what did you do?
I first prepared the lentils & rice.
Boil 1.25 cup of lentils in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes in a pot.
Add 1.25 cup of brown rice to the pot, along with 2 more cups of water.
I added 1.5 tsp of salt, and 1.5 tsp of ground cumin.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, covered.

In the mean time, finely chop 1 large onion and fry it in some olive oil.

Add the excess oil from the onions to the lentil-rice mixture.
Then add the sauteed onion to the lentil mixture.

To top the dish, add a salad of diced cucumbers and tomatoes (lightly salted)

Mujaddara (1)For the condiment, I stirred 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (Fage) with 1 tbsp of lime juice. (Lemon juice would also be fine.) Add another salt and pepper, to taste.

For an extra kick, I spooned some za’atar that I bought in Nablus, which is a thyme & sesame seasoning.

Result? Super, super happy. And hearty.

Lessons learned?
Lentils are pretty fantastic, and a LOT tastier than their sometimes sickly appearances might suggest. I’m looking forward to making this again and using lentils in other things—like veggie burgers!


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