A Healthy and Flavorful Middle Eastern Dish
Hello, foodies! Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for mujaddara pilaf, a healthy and flavorful Middle Eastern dish that is made with bulgur, lentils, and caramelized onions. Mujaddara pilaf is a vegan and gluten-free dish that is high in protein, fiber, and iron. It is also easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. Let’s learn more about this dish and how to make it at home!
History of Mujaddara Pilaf
Mujaddara pilaf is a variation of mujaddara, a traditional dish that originated in Iraq and is popular throughout the Arab world. Mujaddara means “pockmarked” in Arabic, because the lentils among the rice or bulgur resemble small holes. The first recorded recipe for mujaddara dates back to the 13th century, when it was served with rice, lentils, and meat during celebrations. Later, it became a common dish for the poor, as it was cheap and filling. Some legends say that mujaddara was the “mess of pottage” that Jacob used to buy Esau’s birthright in the Bible.
Mujaddara has many variations and adaptations depending on the region and the ingredients available. In some countries, such as Lebanon and Syria, mujaddara is made with rice, while in others, such as Palestine and Jordan, it is made with bulgur. Bulgur is a type of cracked wheat that is parboiled and dried, making it quick to cook and nutty in flavor. Some people also add spices, herbs, nuts, or dried fruits to their mujaddara pilaf for extra taste and texture. Mujaddara pilaf is usually topped with fried onions and served with yogurt, salad, or pickles on the side.
- For the pilaf:
- 1 cup of bulgur
- 1 cup of green or brown lentils
- 4 cups of water
- Salt to taste
- For the onions:
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- For the garnish (optional):
- Chopped parsley
- Toasted pine nuts or almonds
- Pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
- To make the pilaf, rinse the bulgur and lentils under cold water and drain well. Transfer them to a large pot and add water and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the bulgur and lentils are tender, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- To make the onions, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden brown, for about 30 to 40 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat to prevent them from burning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, spoon the pilaf onto a large platter or individual plates. Top with the onions and sprinkle with parsley, nuts, or fruits if desired. Enjoy your mujaddara pilaf hot or at room temperature with some yogurt or salad on the side.
I hope you liked this recipe for mujaddara pilaf. It is one of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes and I’m sure you will love it too. If you try it, let me know how it turned out in the comments below. And don’t forget to follow my blog for more delicious recipes from around the world. See you next time!