HOW TO MAKE MUJADDARA AND THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUJADDARA:
Mujaddara is known as a traditional Middle Eastern recipe that is prepared with lentils, onions, and rice. This delicacy which costs less to make contains an enormous amount of nutrients, and it's very delicious.
Derived from an Arabic word which means "pockmarked," mujaddara consists of rice, onions, and lentils. It is said that lentils cooked with rice have a pockmarks (pimple-like) appearance. You'd agree that such a term is a weird analogy for food, but the recipe is old and a quite traditional middle Eastern meal.
There is a version of mujaddara which is prepared with bulgur( cracked wheat) and red beans. But, this version is not similar in any way to the rice version, which is the main focus of this post.
You simply need rice, lentils, and onions. You'll also require some olive oil too, but it isn't that essential.
Traditionally, you'll prepare the recipe with either brown lentils or green lentils. Finding these lentils in the grocery store shouldn't be hard. Ensure that you don't utilize the red lentils because when cooked, they get soft and mushy. You'll want the lentils to remain complete and intact in this mujaddara recipe.
You can use any type of rice in preparing this dish. If you are a fan of brown rice, you'll need to increase the cooking duration. Brown rice ( long or short grain) is sometimes preferable because it is in its natural form. In the situation where rice isn't available, you can utilize cracked wheat or bulgur.
The rice and lentils can blend naturally. So, the onions are actually what merges the dish. You'll require several onions in preparing this dish. It's preferable and recommended that you use about six complete onions. You'll slice most of them and stir with the rice and lentils. Subsequently, you will gently slice the last onion and caramelize it to be placed on top of the mujaddara.
Tips for making the perfect Mujaddara:
. Caramelizing your onions takes much of the cooking time. If you are keen to avoid such a scenario, cook them in advance, in huge batches, to use them in several dishes. Put them in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, or you can freeze them by adopting one of these genius methods.
. Can you swap different type of lentils? Of course, you can! Just have it in mind that it may alter the cooking time. And you shouldn't consider using split red lentil, because if you do, you may end up having a mujaddara mush!
. Can you utilize a different type of rice? Of course! But you should use basmati because its flavor and texture are perfect in the dish. You might also have to change the quantity of broth and cook time. If things are switched up, don't hesitate to refer to the cooking instructions of your rice.
. If you aren't a fan of Cilantro, a good alternative is parsley.
HOW TO PREPARE MUJADARA:
Caramelized onions and Lebanese spiced lentils are tossed with fresh cilantro and basmati rice to make this flavor-rich mujaddara. Tasty as a primary dish or a show-stopping delicacy.
. ½ pounds of yellow onion ( about three average-sized onions), narrowly sliced.
. A cup of dried green or brown lentils
. Tablespoons of oil (2)
. One ¾ cups of vegetable broth
. Half teaspoon of ground cinnamon
. Two teaspoons of ground cumin
. Two minced garlic cloves
. ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to taste
. Half tablespoon of salt to taste
. Half cup of finely diced fresh cilantro
. ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
. A tablespoon of lemon juice
1) Put the onions and the oil in a medium-size saucepan. Toss for some time to coat the onion. Afterward, place the pot over medium heat.
2) Leave the onion to cook for about 45-60 minutes until they are slightly browned and caramelized.
3) While the onions are being prepared, put the lentils in the medium-size saucepan. Ensure that they are covered with water and subject the pot to increased heat.
4) Boil the water, reduce the heat, and let it simmer until the lentils are soft (approximately 40 minutes for green lentils and 20 minutes for brown lentils).
5) Take the pot away from the heat and drain the lentils into a colander. Afterward, keep them aside.
6) After caramelizing the onions, extract half of the onions from the pot and put them in a plate.
7) Increase the heat underneath the onion to medium, including the garlic, and cook for about a minute until you observe its fragrant smell.
8) Add the vegetable, rice, cumin, broth, cayenne, cinnamon, and stir.
9) Boil the liquid, reduce the heat and cover. Leave the mixture to simmer until the rice is prepared, and the liquid is absorbed as well. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
10) Extract the pot from the heat and leave it to cool for about 5 minutes.
11) Add the lemon juice, lentils, and cilantro to the pot of rice and stir. Ensure that season with pepper, lemon juice, and salt.
12) Share the mujaddara into plates and garnish with the reserved caramelized onions. Afterward, serve with lemon wedges.
BENEFITS OF MUJADDARA:
Aside from being a tasty delicacy, this vegan and gluten-free Arabic cuisine are known to boast of several health benefits. These benefits are derived from the rich ingredients used to prepare this delicious Arabian dish.
Health benefits of Mujaddara from lentils:
The legume, lentils, are regarded as fulfilling beans, a quite nutritious one. This legume, which is a component of mujaddara, is very high in rich nutrients like protein, fiber, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, etc. The consumption of mujaddara, which consist of lentils, decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and general mortality, while at the same time enhancing a rich complexion and hair, improved energy, and overall reduced weight.
The fiber, folic acid, and potassium in mujaddara also support heart health. For individuals struggling with heart blood pressure, consuming mujaddara can naturally lessen this ailment.
Health benefits of Mujaddara from Cilantro:
Cilantro, another rich herb present in mujaddara, is loaded with several beneficial vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and minerals which plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body function.
Cilantro, though not as effective as zeolite for detoxification, is capable of ridding the body of heavy metals. These heavy metals are capable of wreaking havoc on the body if not extracted. Cilantro is utilized in the preparation of mujaddara, and thus by consuming this savory cuisine, you'll be shielding your heart from whatever heart disease that may be lurking.
Cilantro also contains nutrients that are capable of balancing the blood sugar level. So it's safe to say that mujaddara, which consist of a certain proportion of cilantro, helps in maintaining blood sugar level.
Health benefits of Mujaddara from Garlic:
Garlic, which is a constituent of mujaddara, boasts of several health benefits. Such health benefits are seen in its ability to enhance the functions of the immune system. Consuming mujaddara, which boasts of a certain proportion of garlic, can help in lowering total and LDL cholesterol, which contributes to the tendency of suffering from heart disease.
Garlic is also known to contain antioxidants which assist the body protective system against oxidative harm.
Health benefits of Mujaddara from Cinnamon:
Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, like polyphenols (3,4 and 5). These antioxidants can help protect your body from oxidative harm caused by free radicals. Thus, by consuming mujaddara, you are enriching your body system with this antioxidants.
Cinnamon also boasts of some anti-inflammatory properties which help your body in the fight against infections and the repair of body tissue damage. Inflammation can become a serious issue when it's excessive and directed against your body tissues. Consuming mujaddara, which consist of cinnamon, may be helpful in this regard.