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mujaddara recipe: spiced lentils, rice and fried onions


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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total: 60 minutes

Servings: 6


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Step 1

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan along with enough water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the lentils have softened slightly but still have some bite to them. Drain and set aside.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat to reach a consistent deep-fry temperature (375 degrees). Peel and slice the onions into thin rings. Place the onions in a large bowl and break the rings up with your hands (you should have about six cups). Toss the onions with the flour to evenly coat.

Step 3

In a 4 quart or larger pot, heat the two teaspoons of olive oil along with the cumin seeds over medium heat for 2 minutes to toast. Stir in the rice, remaining two tablespoons of oil, the allspice, cinnamon, sugar, coriander, and turmeric. Add 1 ¾ cups of water along with the boiled lentils. Allow the mixture to come to a light boil over medium heat, then immediately cover the pot and simmer on the lowest heat setting for 15 minutes.

Step 4

While the mejadra is cooking, work in batches to fry the onions. Carefully lower one quarter of the onion rings into the hot oil, a small handful at a time, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until deeply brown and crispy. Strain from the oil with a metal utensil and place on a paper towel-lined sheet to drain. Allow the oil to return to deep fry temperature and repeat with remaining onions until all have been fried.

Step 5

Once the mejadra has simmered for 15 minutes, turn off the heat, quickly wrap the pot lid in a towel and place securely over the mouth of the pot. Allow to steam in the pot for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and lentils are cooked through.

Step 6

Stir half of the fried onions into the mejadra mixture. Transfer to a serving plate and top with remaining fried onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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