MOUJADDARA- a traditional Lebanese dish

We thought it is about time to launch our Kitchen section. So here is a cultural dish from Lebanon.

MOUJADDARA

[lentil rice stew]

This delicious dish is one of the most popular in Lebanon. It’s a one pot recipe, easy to
prepare, with little ingredients and high nutritional value. Many families eat it on Fridays, as it is a tradition among Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians to fast on meat on that specific day. Traditionally, the onion is fried in the beginning, but for a lighter version, we are going to skip this part and the result will be as tasty and rich as the original one. It’s typical to eat it with a cabbage salad, which recipe will be given as well.  

  • 1 cup of brown or green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons of Egyptian rice (you can use whatever rice you want as long as it’s white short-grain rice)
  • 2 big onions, divided
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • vegetable oil (preferably sunflower)

-Wash well the lentils and put them in a pot. Pour water to cover 2cm above the lentils.Simmer on low fire for 35-40 minutes until they are almost cooked. Stir from time to time.

-Finely chop one of the onions. Wash well the rice and add it with the onion to the pot. Add salt to taste. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the lentils and rice are totally soft. Keep on stirring from time to time. You might want to add some warm water to have the final consistency of a thick stew.

-Turn off fire and add the olive oil. Mix  well.

-Finely slice the second onion and fry it in vegetable oil until it’s deep gold (it’s a critical timing, catch them when they are deep gold and before they get burned). Put them on a kitchen paper to drain the oil and then sprinkle them on the dish.This step is optional, but it will give the dish a richer taste and look.

Serve it at room temperature.

CABBAGE SALAD:

  • 1 small cabbage
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

-Finely slice the cabbage

-Peel and crush the garlic with a garlic press or in a mortar with a pestle. Add to it the dried mint and as salt as you like. Mix it well to let the ingredients marry. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil and mix.

-Add the dressing to the cabbage and mix well.

In contrast with the Moujaddara, this salad has a very strong and pronounced taste, and that’s what makes them go along so well.



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