Healthy Meals - Cooked Lebanese Lentils
This is soul food for me. My grandparents immigrated from Lebanon at the turn of the century. My grandmother was the best cook around. She explained to me that the poor folks in Lebanon would always eat lentils because it would fill them up, was a healthy meal, and was inexpensive to make. It was a staple in their diet. But, here in the US, she typically would make them on Fridays because it was a non-meat day for the family. Now, as a vegan, I have come to appreciate them even more!
The Lebanese name for this dish is Mujadara (cooked lentils). This is the recipe my grandmother taught me to make. I make this dish for my family often. Everyone loves it!
This recipe serves 4. I will typically make a double batch because they are just as good after being in the refrigerator overnight
Mujadara - Lebanese Lentils
1 cup of brown lentils – soaked overnight (they will expand to about double)
½ cup of brown rice
2 yellow onions – peeled and chopped
¼ cup of olive oil
Ground Cinnamon to taste
Ground Cumin to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Dehydrated mint leaves – crushed – 1 teaspoon (optional)*
3-4 cups of water
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
In a large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they are translucent (about 5 minutes).
Add the lentils and the rice to the onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Bring to a boil and lower heat
Let the lentils simmer for about an hour or until all the liquid is absorbed.
The lentils should be soft and opened.
The consistency should a little bit mushy but not watery.
*We used to grow mint in our garden. My grandma would dry the leaves and give them to us to include in our cooking. It is a great in salads, soups, and lentils!
Lentils are a great side dish. They can also be served as a main dish with salad on the side. When we went to my grandparents house, she would serve them with a big tabouleah salad, kalamata olives and pita bread. This is one of my favorite yummy healthy meals!