Monday, May 5, 2008

Moujadara (Lentils and Rice with Crispy Onions)

Our recipe for this week comes from another one of our more recent releases, The Lebanese Cookbook by Hussien Dekmak, owner and head chef of Le Mignon in London. Says Dekmak:

This is always a favorite at my restaurant, Le Mignon. You can use either brown or green lentils, but I find that brown lentils give a much better result.


Serves 4

generous 1 cup brown or green dried lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup basmati rice
salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

for the crispy onions
vegetable oil
4 tablespoons sliced onion

Place the lentils in a deep saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a lidded saucepan, add the chopped onion and fry until browned. Add the rice, cooked lentils, salt, pepper and cumin and just enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir occasionally until the rice is cooked, 15 minutes. Place in a serving dish.

For the crispy onions, pour vegetable oil into a deep skillet to the depth of about 2 inches. Heat well and deep-fry the sliced onion until brown and crispy. Remove from the skillet and arrange on top of the lentil and rice mixture. Serve hot.

Photography by Martin Brigdale.

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