Two Heads of Lettuce

Simple recipes for vegetarian potlucks. Would you like to join the Two Heads of Lettuce team? Contact twoheadsoflettuce at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mujadera, anyone?

Mujadera (also just jadra) is a rice and lentils dish popular throughout the Middle East. I never make it the same way twice, so here's how I did it for last week's Kol Zimrah and Tikkun Leil Shabbat minyan exchange in NYC with notes about good places to make changes. I like mine with about equal lentils and rice, but many people prefer to have a lot more of one or the other. Experiment!

Use a LARGE pot.

Saute over medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil:
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large onions, diced
2 red peppers, cut into 1 cm squares (This is for color and variety; you can substitute almost anything here)

Add some spices (I admit that I'm an under-spicer, and I'm working on it. In keeping with our potluck guide, I recommend using many more spices. I'll update this entry after I make this recipe again):
3 tsp salt
4 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 bay leaves

(For sweeter mujadera, use these spices instead, and don't use tumeric below:
2 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves

EXPERIMENT!)

Rinse 1 package (~2.5 cups) green or brown lentils, and remove any stones that snuck their way in. When the onions are soft (takes about 10 min), add the lentils and enough water to just barely cover them. With savory mujadera, I add 2 tsp tumeric which doesn't change the taste but turns it yellow, which is pretty.

Bring the pot to a boil, then leave it uncovered at a low boil for about 25 minutes, stirring regularly. Fill your empty lentil container with long-grain white rice as a measure, then add the rice to the pot. There should be enough water left that it still just covers all the ingredients -- if not, add some.

Continue cooking the mujadera, stirring regularly, for another 20-30 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and the lentils are fully cooked. If necessarily, add a little more water to finish them off.

Adjust your spicing to taste, and then pack into into a rubbermaid and grab a serving spoon to bring along.

ps. Mujadera is especially good with yoghurt sauces on top. If you have a favorite, leave it in a comment!

1 Comments:

At 10:39 PM, September 14, 2006, Blogger General Anna said...

My favorite yogurt sauce is just your basic raita-- blend together equal parts plain yogurt and cucumber (I like to peel the cukes beforehand) with a little bit of garlic. You can also add dill.
I also love adding cooked kale into lentil and rice dishes. Yummy and very nutritious.

 

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