Mujadara is a traditional Arab dish with historical roots running back at least as far as the Middle Ages. Originally a peasant dish of lentils and rice, mujadara gets its rich flavor and aroma from caramelized onions and Middle Eastern spices.
You’ll need to cook the rice first, then prepare the lentils and onions while the rice is cooking.
1 cup long-grain brown basmati rice
2 cups water
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup dry brown lentils
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. Whole Spice Za'atar Blend
2 tbsp ground sumac
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup tzatziki, for drizzling
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add 3/4 tsp. salt and the rice.
Reduce heat and cook the rice until it is ready (about an hour).
For the lentils:
Throw the dry lentils into a medium saucepan, then add 2 cups cold water and 1/2 tsp. salt.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer.
Cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
For the caramelized onions:
Meanwhile, heat up a pan and add the olive oil and onions, sprinkling with a dash of salt.
Cook, stirring often, until they turn dark caramel brown. This will take about 15-20 minutes. (You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color and by the slight crispiness developing on some of the onions.)
Assembling the mujadara:
In a large bowl, mix the prepared rice, lentils and most of the caramelized onion — save the crispiest bits to sprinkle on top of the finished dish just before serving.
Add the za'atar blend, sumac, black pepper and lemon juice.
Mix well, garnish with crispy fried onions and serve with a drizzle of tzatziki.