May 31, 2009 1

Vegetarian Delight

Since moving to St. Louis, my eating habits are not what they used to (nor should) be. Food in the Midwest just can’t match the flavor and variety found in my beloved California — nor my mom’s kitchen.

That’s why Ben and I have been preparing meals at home; meals that are fresh, tasty and cheap!

I have my best friend, Kem, to thank for this latest recipe, called “mujadarrah.” Vegetarians will love it, but everyone should give it a try.


This simple dish of lentils and rice hails from the Middle East and is so very easy to make — it doesn’t require your constant attention nor presence in the kitchen. Best of all, mujadarrah is hearty, healthy and scrumptious.

  • Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Yields: 4


  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked lentils
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1 large red or white onion
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • 4 tblsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Greek yogurt


  1. Slice onion into rings, and dice jalapeno.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet and add onion and jalapeño. Cook for 10 minutes or until brown. Cut heat and set aside.
  3. Put lentils in pot, and then fill pot with enough salted water to cover lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir rice into pot of lentils. Add more water to cover all the contents.
  5. Stir in salt, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon to pot; then cover pot and let simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes or until rice and lentils are tender.
  6. Cut heat and stir in 1/3 of cooked onions into pot.
  7. After serving rice and lentils onto dish, top with 1/4 cup of yogurt, then top with some of the leftover onions.
  8. Season with ground black pepper, if desired.
  • * This dish goes great with “parathas” (flatbread filled with vegetables and/or spices. Buy some at your local Indian grocery store.
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