Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)

Mmmmm.... This is a pantry meal that is cheap, healthy, easy, and DELICIOUS. It's sort of vegetarian comfort food. I don't know why it's so good because the ingredient list is so unassuming. This makes a great early meal for older infants; simply pull out a portion before adding the onions or heavily peppering.

Recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

6 T. olive oil
1 very large onion, sliced into rounds 1/4-inch thick (or more if you like caramelized onions--they cook down quite a bit)
1 1/4 c. green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
salt and freshly milled pepper
3/4 c. white or brown long-grain rice (I always use brown)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it's a rich, dark brown, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a saucepan with 1 quart water and 1 teaspoon salt (if using brown rice, add now, too, and add some extra water--you can always strain out the excess water at the end). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice, if using white, plenty of pepper, and, if needed, additional water to cover. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is done, about 15 minutes more (brown rice/lentils take about 35-40 minutes total). Stir in half the onions, then cover and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Spoon the lentil-rice mixture onto plates or a platter and cover with the remaining onions.

Serves 3-4; can be doubled easily

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