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dinner tonight: mujadara

Muja-da-whaaaat? Mujudara, also known as lentils and rice, is a traditional Lebanese dish. Just thinking about it reminds me of the distinct savory smell in my grandmother's kitchen when she would make a large pot of this deliciously hearty soul-food. My grandmother cooked with a pretty basic recipe - lentils, rice, onions, salt and pepper. I recently discovered this recipe and was inspired to make my own version of an old family classic.

1 c lentils
3 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
1 lg onion, chopped (I like using a sweet onion)
1 c rice
1 tsp cumin
tiny pinch cinnamon
1.5 tsp salt
3 c chicken stock

Rinse the lentils first, then cover with water and cook until tender, but not mushy (about 20 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil and cracked pepper to a large, heavy pot. Cook for just a minute and add onions. Sauté until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Next, add the rice, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Cook the rice just until it starts to turn a little tan in color. Immediately add the cooked lentils and stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until the rice is cooked through. 

Serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.
image via hannaford markets

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