In my opinion, this beautiful simple vegetarian dish is the queen of all vegetarian rice dishes. It’s so satisfying, it’s child and baby friendly, there’s no meat but you feel like you’re eating meat. It’s delicious in it’s simplicity! Apart from the cooking time which may vary for everyone depending on the lentil used and how long it is soaked prior to cooking. This is such a quick one pot meal that I am honestly tempted to fit this in the 30 min recipe category. With is being a one pot, you’re also looking at a lot less mess to clean up afterwards, especially if you don’t have the time.
Just before writing this blog post I did some research on the origin of Mujadara and although it is usually attributed to lebanon, Mujadara is actually initially mentioned in a Iraqi cookbook. Some sources actually mentioned Persia but as an Iranian I can certainly confirm that this is not from Iran; I can however, see where the confusion comes from as we have a dish called adds polo which literally means Lentil Rice.
Addas Polo is my all time favourite Persian dish but there are some differences in comparison to mujadara. Stay tuned as an Addas Polo recipe is coming on the blog soon.
Soak the lentils in water from the night before, if you choose to do this on the same day the 2 hours prior to cooking in hot water.
Fry the shredded long ways onions in the olive oil in a medium pot and set aside for later to garnish with. In the remaining olive oil fry the diced onions until golden, add the seasoning and allow a couple of minutes for the aroma to come out.
Drain the lentils and add it to the pot, allow to toast for a few minutes before adding 4 cups of boiling water to the same pot. Place the lid on the pot and allow the lentil to cook.
Wash the rice throughly until the water runs clear. Once the lentil is halfway cooked add the rice to the pot, mix once and place the lid on and allow everything to cook together on low heat until cooked.
Check occasionally to ensure there is enough water in the pot and the pot doesn't dry up completely before the rice and lentils are both cooked.
If the water dries up and contents not cooked, add 1/4 cup of water at a time until it is fully cooked.
Serve with yogurt and garnish with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and of course the fried crispy onions.