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Mujadara: Middle Eastern Rice with Lentils and Crispy Onions



½ cup raisins, golden, purple or both 1 lemon 4 medium onions extra-virgin olive oil ½ tsp. sugar 1 cup green lentils, or lentils you have on hand 1 cup basmati rice, regular long grain will work too ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon 2¼ tsp. ground coriander 2¼ tsp. ground cumin ½ cup fried shallots or premade salad topper crispy onions ½ cup parsley leaves ½ cup plain Greek yogurt Pepper and salt to taste


Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Place raisins in a small bowl. Add juice from one half of lemon and 1 Tbsp. very hot water. I also added lemon zest but that’s optional. Stir to combine; set aside until ready to use.


Thinly slice all 4 onions.


Caramelize onions. Once translucent, add the sugar to help caramelize.


Meanwhile, add lentils to boiling salted water. Cook until al-dente, about 20–25 minutes. Drain and set aside.


Heat extra-virgin olive oil in pot over medium-high until hot. Add ground cinnamon, ground coriander, and ground cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 30 seconds.


Add rice and salt and stir to coat the rice in the spices, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1½ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover with lentils in an even layer, and cover pot. Cook, undisturbed, until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.


Add raisins to caramelized onions (and any liquid in bowl) and stir to combine. Transfer onion mixture to pot with rice. Add half of fried shallots and juice from remaining lemon half. Stir to combine, season with salt, and keep covered until ready to use.


Coarsely chop parsley leaves. Mix ½ cup plain Greek yogurt and 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp. coriander, ¼ tsp. cumin and (optional) lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Eat along with rice.

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