Recipe - Lebanese Rice & Lentils (Mejadra) with Crispy Onions & Garlic Yoghurt
This recipe is perfect for those evenings when there's "nothing in the fridge". Simply combine any dried lentils or rice you've got in your store-cupboard and transform them into this wonderful morish dish with a warming hint of Middle Eastern spices and a comforting sprinkle of crispy fried onions (the best smell in the world?). The garlic yoghurt is not essential but does add a lovely creaminess that works well drizzled on top.
300g basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
200g green lentils
600ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
1 handful of parsley
2 garlic cloves
Cook the lentils in a pan of water until boiling. Turn down the heat and simmer until tender (for around 20 minutes). Once cooked, drain the lentils and leave to cool.
Soak the rice in cold water for 20 minutes, then rinse and drain in a sieve
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and a large pinch of salt. Cook on a medium-high heat, stirring now and again until golden brown and caramelized (this will take around 10 minutes). Once cooked, remove half of the onions and set aside.
To the saucepan, add the spices and cook for a few moments before pouring in the rinsed rice. Stir to coat then add the cooked lentils and stock. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for 15 minutes.
To make the garlic yoghurt, simply stir the garlic through the yoghurt.
Stir through the rice with a fork and serve immediately with the chopped parsley on top, a sprinkle of the remaining crispy onions and a dollop of garlic yoghurt.
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