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Mejadra − Rice with Lentils

This Middle Eastern specialty is usually served as a side dish, but can be a highly nutritious main course for vegetarians, or for all of us for that matter. 

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 1 cup brown lentils

  • 2 cups rice

  • Olive oil for frying

  • 3 onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    To Serve (optional):

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

  • Oil for frying 

Cook the lentils in water until they soften, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions until golden. Add the lentils and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir-fry for a minute or two until the rice grains turn opaque.


Add 3 cups boiling water, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Before serving, fry the onion rings in oil until brown and crisp and arrange over the mejadra.


Quick Mejadra: If you have cooked rice on hand, use it to prepare mejadra. Cook lentils until they soften. Fry the onions, add the lentils and season. Add the rice and heat together for about 5 minutes. 


photo: Eilon Paz ("Fresh Flavors from Israel")

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