09 Sep Mujadara with Crispy Shallots: A Classic, Vegan Rice Recipe from the Middle East
Mujadara with Crispy Shallots
Mujadara can be found on menus throughout the Arab world in a wide array of variations. At it’s core, brown or green lentils are cooked with rice and seasoned with cumin, coriander, and mint. Interestingly, the first recipe was found in a cookbook compiled by al-Baghdadi in 1226 in which the dish also had meat and was served during celebrations. In this version, we incorporate baby kale instead of meat and top the rice and lentil dish with crispy shallots for texture. Today, this recipe can be used for any occasion and is perfect for batch cooking when you need a quick, wholesome weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 15 min, Cook Time: 45 min, Serves 4-6 people
1 cup Lentils, brown or green
2 cups (roughly) All-purpose flour
2 cups Canola oil
2 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Yellow onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup Basmati rice
1 ½ teaspoon Cumin, ground
½ teaspoon Allspice, ground
¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cinnamon stick
4 cups Baby Kale
Place lentils in a large bowl and add warm tap water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak. You are only 4 steps away from the most delicious Mujadara ever!
Meanwhile, peel shallots, thinly slice crosswise. Cover in warm water and lightly separate them into rings. Drain off water.
Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat to 350 degrees. Add flour to the bowl with shallots and coat shallot rings well. Knock off excess flour, drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Discard remaining flour. Transfer the shallots to a plate lined with paper towels and season with a pinch of salt.
*If you don’t like frying at home, this step can be eliminated. Substitute the crispy shallots with a big handful of chopped mint, cilantro, or parsley to top off your Mujadara instead.
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic into the pot and cook until onions start to soften, but not brown. Stir in rice and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, allspice and cayenne; sauté 30 seconds. You’re almost there…mujardara magic is only 1 step away.
Drain lentils and stir into pot. Add 4 1/4 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Rinse greens in a colander and spread damp leaves over lentil mixture. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until rice and lentils are tender and greens are wilted. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve the Mujadara with crispy shallots
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