Spiced Rice & Lentils with Crispy Onions
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.
Mejadra is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that’s simple to make, affordable and incredibly flavourful. Using only a few basic ingredients, combined with warming spices, Mejadra is a beautiful mezze dish to serve alongside various breads, dips and salads, or it can be served as a standalone meal, topped with a dollop of thick yogurt. Leftovers are perfect for lunch or a picnic treat. By using our pre-soaked canned lentils, this ‘Cheats’ Mejadara recipe is super quick to prepare.
- 250ml sunflower oil (GT080)
- 2 medium onions, very thinly sliced
- 1 can Suma brown lentils (VF073)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (HE175)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (HE174)
- 1 cup basmati rice (QS050)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (GT084)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (HE161)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (HE139)
- 1 tsp white sugar (LJ090)
- Salt & black pepper
- 2 cups water
- Fresh coriander and lemon wedges to serve
- In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the sunflower oil on high heat and add half of the sliced onions. Fry for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy, stirring often. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil. Fry the rest of the onions, transfer to the plate and season with a pinch of salt.
- Drain the lentils into a colander and rinse very under cold running water.
- In a smaller saucepan, add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast for a minute until they become aromatic. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice in the oil and spices, add the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to its lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove from the heat, lift the lid and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool slightly and then tip the spiced rice and lentils on to a large serving platter. Top with the crispy onions, fresh coriander, lemon wedges and season to taste with salt and pepper. It’s delicious served hot or cold.