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Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

13 Mar

The recipe for this dish caught my eye  last week at Food52 and I’ve been thinking of it ever since.  I’m always looking for new vegetarian dishes I haven’t tried, especially one that reheats well, since I pack my lunch 4 days a week.  I changed this up from the original recipe just a bit by adding to the last of my green lentils some pearled barely for a bit of variation in texture and added protein and fiber.  I think it added a really nice element to this dish.  I served this with some toasted 10-grain walnut bread that Zak made, though it would be divine with naan or without bread entirely.  We both ended up eating the all of the mujaddara and not finishing our bread – so for what it’s worth, I vote for completely bread-less.

I could not get enough of this dish.  If the rumors are true and it improves over time, I’m going to be blown away with the leftovers over the next couple of days.  The sweetness from the caramelized onions against the slight bitterness of the char on the onions worked beautifully with the fragrant jasmine rice, earthy, rich lentils, and bite of the pearled barley.  The slightly spicy, creamy coolness of the yogurt with mint was a great foil to the lentils and onions.  Finally, I really enjoyed the crust that formed as a result of popping this in the oven to reheat.  It made the dish bibimbap-esque and added an extra variation in texture that really worked well.

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

Adapted from Food52


1/4 cup green lentils

1/4 cup pearled barley

1 cup jasmine rice

1 tbs. Brummel & Brown

2 tbs. olive oil

2 small yellow onions, very thinly sliced (about 1/8″)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Bring lentils, pearled barley, 4 cups water, and kosher salt to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer until lentils and barley are soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes.  Drain and set aside and rinse out pot.

Add rice, kosher salt, and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.  Simmer 15 minutes until rice is cooked through.

While rice cooks, heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Add butter and 2 tbs. olive oil.  When butter is melted, add onions and toss to coat with butter and oil.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Once onions are translucent (after 6-8 minutes), raise heat to medium and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are light golden brown and soft. Raise heat to medium-high and cook another 3-4 minutes until onions are crisped and slightly blackened around the edges.

Combine rice, lentils, barley, onions and half of spiced yogurt (see below) in a large serving bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.  Transfer back to  cast iron pan and spread into an even layer.  Let sit at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 275º.

Add cast iron pan filled with rice and lentil mixture and heat 15-20 minutes until heated through and a light crust forms on the bottom of the pan.

Serve with remaining spiced yogurt and a slice of toast.

Spiced Yogurt:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. mace

1/2 tsp. paprika

3 tbs. fresh mint, finely chopped

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients and let chill in refrigerator at least one hour and up to 48 hours.

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