A wonderful combination of spices and textures make mujadara a fantastic side dish.
Mujadara (a.k.a. mujaddara or mudardara) is a lovely side dish consisting of rice or bulger (bulger in the case of this recipe) and lentils seasoned with cumin and other spices then mixed with caramelized onions and tomatoes. Similar to kushari and adas polo, it is rich in protein and fibre, and much loved across the Middle East.
I've taken a few liberties with my version with the addition of caramelized tomato and the use of vegetable stock, but it's largely the same.
If you wish to make this recipe gluten-free, swap the bulger for basmati rice. Otherwise it is entirely vegan and makes a wonderful companion to any main dish.
(Makes 8 servings)
1 cup medium-coarse bulger
1 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large sweet onion, sliced thin
2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and sliced thin
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup vegetable stock
lime wedges (optional)
Both bulger and lentils can be prepared at the same time.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt then bring to a boil. Add the bulger and reduce heat to medium. Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring regularly, until all the water is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Uncover, remove from heat, and set aside. After 5 minutes, fluff with a fork.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook partially covered, stirring regularly, until they reach an al dente texture (about 15 minutes). Drain any excess water and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onion and tomatoes with the remaining salt. mix well then sauté until all the water has evaporated from the vegetables and they become crispy and golden. Remove half of the caramelized onion and tomatoes to a paper-lined plate. Add the lentils to the sauté pan with the remaining onion and tomato mixture then add all the spices and toss to combine. Add the bulger and toss again. Add vegetable stock, stir, then cover the pan and cook until the stock is absorbed into the bulger and lentils. Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with the reserved caramelized onion and tomato, and a squeeze of lime juice (optional).
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 128.5 | total fat = 5.55g | saturated fat = 0.74g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 245.31mg | net carbohydrates = 12.7g | dietary fibre = 4.32g | sugars = 5.23g | protein = 4.03g