Lebanese rice and lentils (mujaddara)
- November 2016
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 40 min
This Ottolenghi-inspired dish of rice and lentils is full of warming Lebanese flavours – a comforting dinner recipe for those cooler nights.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 30.2g (7.2g saturated)
- 92.5g (13.6g sugars)
- 0.2g salt
- 500ml sunflower oil
- 4 onions, finely sliced
- Generous handful plain flour, well seasoned with salt
- 200g green or brown lentils
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 250g basmati rice
- Large pinch caster sugar
- Small bunch fresh coriander
For the garlic yogurt
- 250ml Greek yogurt
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan until it shimmers. Rub the onions in the flour to coat them, then add in batches to the hot oil – it should sizzle as they go in – and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Cook the lentils according to the pack instructions for a couple of minutes less than the time stated (they should still be firm), then drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the cumin and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat, until the spices become fragrant, then add the turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and sugar, stirring to coat it in the spices, season well with salt and pepper, then add the lentils and 700ml water. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down and bubble gently for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Meanwhile, mix all the garlic yogurt ingredients in a bowl, season and set aside. Once tender, remove the rice from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and place a lid tightly on top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then fluff up with a fork and stir in half the fried onions. Pile onto a serving platter, top with the remaining onions and a scattering of coriander, then serve with the garlic yogurt on the side.
We have to credit Ottolenghi with introducing us to this comforting Arab dish, to which we’ve added a garlicky yogurt side.
The crispy onions will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 12 hours. Re-crisp in a low oven before serving.
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