If Fuul bil-Riz is the most literal version of Arab beans and rice, Mujaddara/Mujaddarah/Mujadra/Megadarra* is the spiritual equivalent. A staple dish in many communities (especially those for whom meat is a luxury), this dish is commonly made with brown lentils and bulgur, although sometimes rice is used rather than bulgur. The key is: 1) right proportions of bulgur to lentils; 2) getting the timing right, so the lentils don’t turn to mush but the bulgur ends up nice and tender; and 3) the caramelized onions.
I like this dish; it’s simple, tasty, nutritious and made in one-pot, good for these days.
*Of course this name is transliterated from the Arabic, thus there is no set way to spell it. Just like there is no set way to cook it!
- 2 large onions
- 4 Tbsp. oil (I say use whatever kind you like)
- 1 cup brown/green lentils
- ½ tsp. allspice
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups coarse-ground bulgur
- Salt and pepper to taste
Caramelize your onions in a large cooking pot, and when they are done set to the side.
Pour your cleaned lentils into the pot, stir for a minute in the oil; add water or stock and allspice, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until lentils are crunchy-soft.
Add bulgur, salt and pepper, and stir well. Return to the boil, cover and turn heat to low until bulgur and lentils are both tender.
Stir in caramelized onions.
For a few more takes on Mujaddara, see: