Middle Eastern Makeover – Mjadara
I am half Lebanese and this was one of my absolute favorite recipes growing up. When I first tweaked it and used brown rice instead of white rice, my mother was horrified. “You can’t do that. You’re ruining the recipe. Some foods are just meant to be eaten as they are.”
So imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago, she called me to tell me she made it with quinoa and coconut oil! She upped the health factor even more than I did! Here is her recipe. Enjoy!
1 cup dark lentils, soaked for one hour
½ cup dry quinoa, soaked for one hour
4 cups water
1 TBS coconut oil with 1 TBS olive oil or 2 TBS olive oil (depending on your taste preference)
2 medium onions (white or red), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin, divided
Sea salt, taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Drain the lentils and add to a large pot with the water, ½ tsp cumin and a little sea salt. Bring to a boil over high heat until lentils are thoroughly cooked through, stirring every once in awhile. There should be water left over even after the lentils are cooked through.
Drain the quinoa and add to the lentils. Lower the heat to a simmer until the quinoa cooks through.
In the meantime, add coconut oil/olive oil or the olive oil to a skillet on low to medium heat. Add onions, garlic and black pepper and saute until slightly browned. Add them to the pot of lentils and quinoa with the remaining ½ tsp of cumin.
Stir everything together, lower the heat and leave to cook so that the flavors mix together, approximately 10 minutes.
When the quinoa and lentils are soft (do the taste test), your mjadara is ready. Adjust seasonings to your liking.