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Beirut, Lebanon
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Mujadara (Mjadra)
Friday, 18 July 2008 16:55

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A hearty and tasteful Lebanese vegetarian dish which, in many of its variations, is also common to all the Levant (Near East).

  • Serves
4 - 6
  • Cooking time
2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Brown or Green lentils, prepared and washed
1 cup
  • Water
5 cups
  • Onions, very finely chopped
2 medium
  • Olive oil
1/2 cup
  • Bur’ghul (cracked dark wheat of hard variety), washed and drained
1 cup
  • Salt
1 tsp.

Directions:

  1. Boil the lentils in the water until soft.
  2. In the meantime, chop the onions finely and fry in the olive oil until quite dark brown. Stir the onions on medium heat with a wooden spoon until caramel brown. At near completion continue cooking on low heat until dark brown, watching and stirring them constantly so they don't burn. The onions at this stage should feel crumbly and separate from the oil. Remove the onions immediately off the fire and continue on stirring them in order to avoid them from having a burnt taste. Remove the onions from the frying pan as soon as they are done and add them to the lentils that are boiling in the pot. This will stop the onions cooking process, as if they were left in the frying pan, they will still continue to cook even though the fire (heat) is turned off. Alternatively, for a lower calorie dish drain the onions on paper towels, and then add them to the boiling lentils.
  3. After the lentils are fully cooked, add the bur’ghul to the cooked lentils and bring them to the boil. The bur’ghul will help absorb the excess water in the dish. While boiling slowly add the salt. Cover and simmer slowly. Continue to simmer until bur’ghul is soft – approx 1/2 hour. The mixture must be stirred regularly while cooking to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Boiling water may be added if required to keep the mixture soft and not lumpy or too thick. Adjust salt to taste.

Variation:

  1. Instead of adding bur’ghul, puree lentils for a smooth soup consistency and add salt to taste.
  2. Add white or brown rice instead of bur’ghul. Brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook as opposed to 20 minutes for white rice.

Serving suggestions:

  1. Don't over dry the mixture and serve immediately. Pore in a large serving plate and serve with a side Lebanese cabbage salad. Eat with a fork mixing some Mujadara and some salad as you eat.
  2. Keep Leftover Mujadara outside the fridge and serve as a sandwich on Arabic Bread (Pita) with pickled cucumber.

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Baba Ghannouj (Bathinjan Moutabal)
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2009 04:40
 

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