Mujadra (Syrian Lentils and Rice)
Nb persons: 4
|1 medium||onion, for caramelized onion garnish|
|2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon||extra virgin olive oil, divided|
|1/2 teaspoon||salt, divided|
|1/2 cup||lentils, well washed in several rinses of water|
|1 cup||boiled water|
|1 cup||long grain rice|
|1 cup||boiling water|
This recipe is adapted from a Syrian home cook. It is delicious as is, though it is typically served with a crisp pink turnip pickle, a condiment staple in every Arabic house. This adaptation reduces the salt and uses only olive oil for cooking.
1. Caramelize the onion. Cut the onion ,root to tip, into thin strips. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and fry, stirring frequently, until most of it caramelizes to a dark brown color. Watch the onion carefully, especially during the last 5 minutes, and adjust temperature so that it doesn't burn. This process should take about 20 minutes. When ready, remove the onion and oil to a bowl. Bring water to a boil and set aside.
2. While the onion cooks, start the lentils. In a 2 quart saucepan, cover lentils by 2" water, add a pinch of salt and the 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain the cooking liquid from the lentils, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
3. Once onions and lentils are done, start the rice. In the same 2 quart. saucepan, combine the teaspoon extra virgin olive oil with the 1/2 cup reserved lentil cooking water. Add 1 cup boiling water and remaining salt. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and reserved lentils. Stir gently and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
4. Serve the lentils and rice topped with the caramelized onion.