Monday, March 28, 2011

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 4
This dish was super easy.  Reviewers said that it tastes best after time passes, and we agree.  This is very tasty, very satisfying and very healthy too.  Serve this for your next Meatless Monday dinner.  You might wish to double the yogurt sauce because it really makes the rice/bean/onion mixture pop! All the ingredients are available at Lost River Market & Deli.

For the Mujaddara:
3/4 cups Puy lentils (aka French lentils, the tiny dark brown ones)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup jasmine rice (I used brown jasmine rice.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups onions (2-3 medium onions), halved and thinly sliced

For the yogurt sauce: (I doubled the yogurt sauce ingredients.)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used non-fat plain Greek yogurt.)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin (freshly ground, if possible)
1/2 teaspoon coriander (freshly ground)
1/2 teaspoon spicy paprika or aleppo pepper (I used hot paprika.)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook rice according to package.  (I used the rice cooker.)  For cooking the rice in an oven see note below.
Put lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer lentils until soft but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside.
While rice cooks, set a wide, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and add butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter has mostly melted, add onions and toss to incorporate with butter and oil.
After 5 minutes, onions will have softened slightly and started to release their liquid. Raise heat to medium and cook 10 to 12 minutes more, until onions are very soft and browned. Add water by the tablespoon if pan gets too dry or if onions start to stick. When onions are well browned, add last tablespoon of olive oil and raise heat to high. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until bottom layer of onions has charred and crisped; try not to stir too much, or onions won't crisp up.
Combine rice, lentils, and the onions in large serving bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes, to marry the flavors together. Meanwhile, make the yogurt: mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
If mujaddara has cooled significantly, reheat in a low oven or even in the microwave for a couple minutes. To serve, plate a big scoop of mujaddara and top with a dollop of yogurt. 

Note:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add rice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water to the pot, set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook for 17 minutes until perfectly cooked. Remove from oven, uncover, and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

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