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First of all, mujaddara is an ugly dish. A big ol’ pile of lentils, rice, and caramelized onions cooked on the skillet for about an hour. In other countries, the combination of rice and lentils is called dal and such, but in Lebanon and such environs, the mix of rice and lentils is referred to as mujaddara. What makes it unique?

Caramelized onions. Period, no questions marks, it simply all comes together in a marvelous melange of flavors. As with any staple, there are as many recipes as there are folks who make this, but I can say without equivocation that caramelized onions simply makes this dish a total winner.

And if you add in the toasted almond slivers along with the diced, dried apricots, you’ll have a basic dish that will have folks begging for more.

Along with the gloppy-looking mess, there is as well a spiced yogurt sauce which includes honey, lemon juice, olive oil, mint leaf, and a bit of salt and pepper (cayenne if you’re not married to my wife) which when dolloped onto this little middle eastern stew really adds a whole new dimension.

Really, you’ll have your challenges making this stuff look pretty in the bowl, but after a bite or two, you won’t care how it looks. Having a blue agave margarita as well never hurts, either.

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