I love Middle-eastern food and its delicate but definite use of spices and the way the flavors all come together..flavorful but not too overpowering. We have a really good middle-eastern restaurant near our place and i used to eat there often...but no longer go there as the restaurant owner has been called for some really serious charges and i have no desire to support that cause with my money.
So...here i was craving the food but i did not like the mjadra at any other restaurant..so my quest for a good recipe started from the internet. I mainly looked for this recipe from a middle-eastern person..as my thought process is usually the natives know the best..thought there are exceptions we know :)
I mentioned about mjadra to my friend and she got me this recipe from her lebanese co-worker..i was told to use burgal or basmati rice...but i used brown rice coz it is chewier and reminds me more of the recipe that is served at that restaurant..and can i say i liked what i made ;)
Brown lentils - 1/2 cup
Brown Rice - 1/2 cup
Onions - 1 large
Garlic- 3 pods - crushed or grated
Olive oil - 1 tbls + 1 tsp.
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp. - freshly grated
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
1. Soak the brown rice and the lentils seperately for 3-4 hours. This ensures they cook faster. You can omit this step if you want.
2. Slice the onions and crush the garlic and keep aside.
3. In a large pan, heat 1 tbls of olive oil and add the onions and garlic with the brown sugar and cook it on a low flame to caramelise. When the onions are caramelized add some salt,pepper and the grated nutmeg powder to it and keep aside.
4.Meanwhile cook the rice and lentils separately in lots of water with salt and cook till they are done but not mushy. Drain the excess water and spread the lentils and rice on separate plates so that the grains do not stick together.
5. Finally before you eat......add 1 tsp. of oil in the pan..add in jeera and 1/4 of the onion mixture (Step. 3). Now add the rice, the lentils and salt (if reqd.) and mix it well on high flame for a couple of minutes.
6. Serve the rice on individual plates and top it with the remaining of the caramelized onions and eat it with cold cucumber raita....yum :)
1. In restaurants the onions are deep-fried..but i think the caramelized onions are not lacking in flavor either...
2. It would be great to top the mjadra with finely chopped parsley.
3. I think brown basmati would be really yummy..i did not have any so subbed with long-grain...