Advertisement

Mejadra

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Mejadra
1

Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.

2

Peel and thinly slice the onions. Sprinkle over the flour and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well. In a saucepan, heat up the sunflower oil over high heat. Check the temperature of the oil by tossing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously.

3

Reduce the temperature to medium-high and fry the onions, one-third at a time, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle over a little more salt. Repeat with the remaining onions, adding additional oil as needed.

4

Discard the oil and wipe the saucepan clean. Add the cumin and coriander seeds. Place the pan over medium heat and toast the seeds until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, one-half teaspoon salt and a good sprinkling of pepper. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

5

Remove from heat, remove the lid and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

6

Add half of the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork; this makes about 8 cups mejadra. Top with the rest of the onion.

Adapted from “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
Newsletter
Get our new Cooking newsletter, coming soon.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.