Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recipe: Mejadra

I saw this recipe in the Guardian the other day and thought it sounded right up my alley; rice, lentils, sweet spices and fried onion combine for a dish that can be eaten hot or cold. It's delicious, filling and difficult to stop eating once you've tasted it. The original recipe serves four, but I have scaled it down to two servings, and changed the metric measurements to imperial.

Serves 2

8 Tbs sunflower or grapeseed oil, divided
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup green or brown lentils
1 tsp cumin seed
1 1/2 tsp coriander seed
1/2 Cup basmati rice
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
3/4 Cup water


1. Heat 4 Tbs of sunflower/grapeseed oil in a heavy skillet or saucepan. When oil is very hot, carefully add the first sliced onion. Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion is golden brown and turns crispy.

2. Transfer onion to a colander and sprinkle with salt. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 Tbs oil, onion and salt.

3. While the onions are frying, put lentils in a saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until lentils have softened but still have a little bite.
4. Drain lentils and set aside.

5. Wipe clean the pan used to fry onion. Add the cumin and coriander seed and place over medium heat for a minute or two, until the seeds release their aroma. Add rice, olive oil, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with oil, then add cooked lentils and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.

6. Remove from heat, lift off lid and cover pan with a clean dish towel. Replace lid and let sit for 10 minutes.

7. Tip the rice and lentil mixture into a large mixing bowl, add onion and gently combine.

Enjoy hot or cold!

For printable recipe, click here.

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