For a delicious mediterranean vegan dinner, I highly recommend mejadra. According to my mother, and Suzy from TheMediterraneanDish, mejadra is known as poor man’s food in the Middle East, seems like beans and rice combo isn’t considered fancy anywhere in the world, but it sure is comfort food to me!
The original recipe from TheMediterraneanDish asks you to use black lentils, but every mejadra I’ve ever eaten uses green or brown lentils, so I wasn’t too picky about this.
My additions to the original recipe from TheMediterraneanDish mujadara recipe are in red.
- 1 cup black lentils, green or brown lentils
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for later
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, soaked in water for 10–15 minutes and then drained
- black pepper
- Parsley or parsley flakes for garnish
For the fried crispy onion garnish (optional)
- Oil for frying
- 1 large yellow onion cut in very thin rings
- Place the lentils in a small saucepan with 2 cups of the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer, cover until the lentils are par-boiled (10-12 minutes). Remove from the heat, drain the lentils and set them aside.
- In a large saute pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until the onions are dark golden brown, darker than typical caramelized onions (about 40 minutes), sprinkle the onions with a teaspoon of salt as they cook.
- Carefully pour the remaining 2 cups of water, bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir the rice and par-cooked lentils into the onion mixture. Cover and bring back to a boil. Stir in a healthy pinch of salt and the black pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are both cooked through (about 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the Mujadara hot or at room temperature with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and parsley garnish, if you like.
- If you are adding the the fried onions, heat the oil over medium-high heat (to 375 degrees F) in a saucepan. When a small piece of onion bubbles vigorously, the oil is ready. Fry the onions in batches until they are golden brown. Transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined plate or try, and then arrange them on top of the Mujadara.