Mujadara is a very popular Levantine dish. It is a very hearty vegetarian dish, and very healthy too. It is great hot or at room temperature, making mujadara leftovers a good work lunch option. My husband and kids all love mujadara, so we have it often, and change it up sometimes. This recipe is a marriage of mujadara and quinoa.
The onions, olive oil, and sumac create a sort of sauce for the dish. You can omit the sumac, but I think it add something special to this dish.
A tip for those whose kids are not big fans of onions – you can either plate theirs first without onions or you can top with buttered carrots.
1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vermicelli noodles, toasted over medium heat in skillet
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 onions, cut in half, each half thinly sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pick over lentils if needed and rinse. Place in pot with about 6 cups of water or stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Cook till lentils are just cooked, 20-40 minutes. This will vary depending on how fresh the lentils are, but start checking at 20 minutes.
Carefully drain any cooking liquid still left in the pot. Reserve. Keep lentils in the same pot. Add uncooked quinoa, toasted vermicelli, spices, and salt to taste. Return the cooking liquid, adding water or stock if needed, to complete 3 cups. Bring to a boil over low heat, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked.
Meanwhile, cook onions over low heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add 1-2 teaspoons sumac. Allow to cook a minute or two so that the hot oil is infused with the sumac flavor.
To serve, spread mujadara in a platter, and top with the onions. Make sure to also drizzle the olive oil and sumac “sauce” over the platter. Sprinkle with additional sumac, if desired. You can also just place the mujadara in plates, and portion out the onions in each plate.
Mujadara is traditionally served with plain yogurt and/or a finely chopped salad. Sour cream also tastes good with it.