Essentially, this amounts to rice and lentils, but these ingredients are an amazing power couple!
Not only in flavor, but they also provide us with a complete protein, giving us the nine essential amino acids that humans need but can’t create themselves.
By adding crunchy fried onions, a Palestinian salad, and yogurt, you create a mini feast to be enjoyed, and savoured as your senses take in all the flavors and textures this meal provides.
I really do love this dish. It’s easy, straightforward, and so satisfying.
Mujadara originated in Mesopotamia, in what is modern day Iraq.
With the oldest known recipe showing up in the Kitab Al-Tabikh (which literally translates as the ‘book of cooking’) in 1226.
A very old recipe indeed. Meat was included in that version which was served during celebrations.
In those days it was the wealthy that could afford meat, and not many others could, and so it was adapted for those with lesser means not to include the meat. Which of course turns out to be better for you!
Popular in Palestine is to replace the rice with bulgur wheat, a variation that is popular with Arab Christians during lent.
With either rice or bulgur this is a filling meal that is an all around winner with most people.
It’s hard to beat the nutrition of lentils.
Full of fiber.
Packed with polyphenols, which lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve artery function, prevent platelet clumping, improve arterial flexibility, not to mention improved life span.
What’s not to like about lentils!
Today is Friday, the traditional day off in the Middle East as it is the Muslim holy day, and the day we head for the Jordan Valley.
We have a little place down there that is a bit of an oasis from the city.
It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the week by having breakfast outdoors, tending to the garden, seeing what’s ripe, and generally having a relaxing day.
The trip to the Valley takes about an hour door to door, as we wind down from an average of 3,300 feet above sea level to about 1,300 feet below sea level.
The Jordan Valley is one of the most fertile areas in Jordan, where most of the agriculture takes place.
Today we stopped to buy hot peppers, tomatoes, red cabbage, and onions.
All in great quantities.
I use onions on a regular basis so I always need a lot of those which are chopped and diced.
The peppers I pickle for salads, etc. the tomatoes I dice and cook down in a pot, cool, then freeze to be used in place of canned tomatoes.
And the red cabbage looked great, and will go along well with a lot of things.
In fact I made a great red cabbage salad the other day with a mayonnaise, lemon, yogurt dressing.
It turned out to be very tasty.
Mujadara is the kind of dish that can be prepared in a relatively short time, and so is perfect for someone who has less time, and yet wants to rely on homemade and nutritious food.
- Put lentils in a small pot and cover with water, boil until lentils are soft but still a little al dente. Add more water while cooking if necessary. Drain.
- While lentils are cooking, slice onions in half moon shapes.
- In another pot mix cooked lentils with the rice, salt, seven spices, and cumin. Add the water and bring to the boil. Once it boils turn down to a simmer and cook with the cover a quarter off the pot, until all the water is gone and rice is cooked through.
- While the rice and lentils are cooking heat oil in a pan and fry onions until they are crispy.
- Top the rice and lentils with the crunchy onions. Also top with yogurt, and Palestinian salad.
Nutrition Per Serving