Mujadara (Lentils and Brown Rice)

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Mujadara is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of rice and lentils cooked together and flavored with fried onions. It’s a simple, nutritious, and surprisingly delicious dish, and my version is made with brown rice so it’s even healthier. Mujadara is very hearty, and the rice/lentil combination constitutes a complete protein, so do serve it as a main dish alongside a veggie. If you serve it as a side dish, the recipe listed here makes 10-12 servings.

Makes 6 servings

Total time: 1 hour
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes

1 cup brown long grain rice
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/4 cups dry lentils, rinsed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 very large onions, sliced into thin rounds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Place the rice, water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, pepper and cumin in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the lentils. Increase heat and bring back to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook over low heat for 30-45 more minutes, depending on your stove and the size/heaviness of your pot, until water has been absorbed and lentils are tender but not mushy. If water has been absorbed after 30 minutes (check the bottom of the pan) and lentils are still too hard, add 1/2 cup water, stir, cover and keep cooking.

3. While lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until well-browned, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. When lentils are done, remove from heat. Fluff with a fork. Stir in half the onion/oil mixture. Spoon onto plates and garnish with the remaining onions. Make sure you use every last bit of oil – use a spatula if you need to – this very simple dish of lentils and rice is elevated into a delicacy thanks to the fried onions and olive oil, and olive oil is good for you, anyway.

Nutrition per serving
Calories 352.5
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 377.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.8 g
Dietary Fiber 11.2 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 11.4 g
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 9 points