Mujadara is a traditional Middle Eastern rice, lentil, and onion dish. We've enjoyed it at many local Middle Eastern restaurants and have loved every version we've tried. It was only a matter of time before we tried making it at home, and I am sure glad we did! The complex flavors of this dish make it downright addictive, from the sweet caramelized onions to the toasted pinenuts and hints of cinnamon, it is the perfect combination of textures and flavors that makes you want to keep eating more!
3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
4-5 T grassfed butter
sprinkling of sea salt
1 1/2 c cooked basmati or long grain white rice
1 1/2 c cooked green or brown lentils
1/4 c pinenuts, toasted in a dry pan on high heat for 5 minutes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
pepper and salt to taste
1. Caramelize the onions by cooking them in the butter over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure they don't burn. You want them to cook down but not get too brown. Part way through the cooking time, sprinkle them with a bit of salt.
2. While the onions caramelize, toast your pine nuts by placing them in a small pan, turning the heat to high and toasting for 5 minutes, stirring the pine nuts often to make sure they don't burn. They should start to brown a little and give off a nutty aroma. At this point, remove them from the heat.
3. Once the onions are caramelized, stir the rice, lentils, pine nuts, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper into the onion mixture. Then enjoy!
Honestly, you can use whatever quantities you want in this dish! Have 3 cups of leftover white rice? Throw it all in. Love the taste of pinenuts? Use 1/2 c instead of 1/4 c. The quantities I used happened to work for us- we love the flavor of onions and wanted equal parts lentils and rice. Don't like onions as much? Only use 1 or 2. Just don't leave anything out! You'll lose some of the great complexity of the dish.