Mujadara (Lentils & Rice)
with Za'atar roasted cauliflower and carrots
Mujadara packs a flavorful punch and works incredibly well with so many diet preferences. If you haven't tried this fragrant, hearty dish, you're going to love it!
Smarts: Caramelizing onions takes time, so be sure to give yourself time for that step. You can speed the process up a bit by slicing the onions very thin. You can also caramelize the onions ahead of time if you prefer.
- Onions, red and medium - 2 , sliced
- Lemons - 2 , wedges
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Cinnamon, ground - 1/8 tsp
- Rice, uncooked basmati - 1 cup
- Water - 1 3/4 cups
- Lentils, cooked - 2 1/2 cups (use pre-cooked lentils or if cooking from dried, use half the amount of dried and prepare according to package directions)
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - for serving
- Carrots - 1 lb , sliced
- Cauliflower - 1 lb , florets
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Za'atar - 2 Tbsp
Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
Toss carrots and cauliflower with cooking oil, za’atar, and some salt. Spread out on a sheet pan (use two if the vegetables are too crowded on one; plenty of space between the vegetables will help them to brown instead of steam). Roast in the oven, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven (use one with a tight-fitting lid) with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions with some salt and saute until onions are well caramelized and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Add some water if they start to stick or burn.)
To onions, add cumin, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, ~1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove about half of the onions and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
To the remaining onions in the pan, add the rice and stir until the rice is shimmering and coated in spices. Add the water and lentils and stir until combined.
Cover the pan and reduce heat to low (it should maintain a low simmer). Simmer the rice and lentils, covered, until the rice is tender and the water has cooked off, 20 to 25 minutes.
Fluff the rice and serve with the reserved onions on top and the roasted vegetables on the side. Serve the Mujadara with yogurt on top and squeeze lemon wedges over everything. Enjoy!