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M’judarra (Lentil & Rice Casserole)

This is a vegetarian main meal delight. Popular in Egypt and the Middle East, m’judarra is a simple lentil and rice with spice dish. Topped with golden-fried onions and plain yoghurt, it is a taste sensation.


1 ½ cups brown lentils, washed and drained.
1 ½ t. salt
5 cups water
2 medium-sized onions, cut in half and finely sliced (or make more if you like golden brown onions)
150 ml light olive oil
1 cup or less (1/2 cup) long-grain rice, washed and drained.
Spices: Choose one. Cinnamon or curry powder or cumin to taste.

Place lentils in a saucepan with salt and 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add a further cup of water and boil for approximately 15 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, fry onion in oil until dark brown or golden (be sure not to burn). Set aside a generous part of the onions and add the reminder, together with its oil, to the boiling water. Add rice and stir. Add remaining water, add one of the three spices listed above to taste (don’t go overboard), cover and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until water has been absorbed.

Arrange on a platter and sprinkle reserved onion on top. Serve with plain yoghurt or Greek style plain yoghurt.


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