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Mujadara Recipe with Figs & Crispy Onions

Mujadara, essentially Middle Eastern "rice and beans" is classic comfort food. Topped with crispy onions, this mujadara recipe also includes figs.
Course: Entrees, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: mujadara, mujadara recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 344kcal

Ingredients

Crispy Onions

  • 2 pounds onions halved and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Rice & Lentils

  • 8 1/2 ounces green or brown lentils picked over and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Dried Figs stemmed and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

Make Crispy Onions

  • Toss onions and salt together in large bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet, and dry well.
  • Heat onions and oil in Dutch oven over high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain onions in colander set in large bowl. Transfer onions to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. (Reserve 3 tablespoons onion oil for cooking rice. Store remaining oil for future use).

Make Yogurt Sauce

  • Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Refrigerate while preparing rice and lentils.

Make Rice & Lentils

  • Bring lentils, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and set aside. While lentils cook, place rice in medium bowl and cover by 2 inches with hot tap water, let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Using your hands, gently swish rice grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Add cold tap water to rice and pour off water. Repeat adding and pouring off cold tap water 4 or 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in fine-mesh strainer.
  • Heat reserved 3 tablespoons onion oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in Dutch oven over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Stir in lentils and figs, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  • Off heat, remove lid, fold dish towel in half, and place over pot; replace lid. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff rice and lentils with fork and stir in cilantro and half of crispy onions. Transfer to serving platter, top with remaining crispy onions, and serve, passing yogurt sauce separately.

Notes

Recipe and photo by Cook's Country by America's Test Kitchen
NOTES:
  • When preparing the Crispy Onions, be sure to reserve 3 tablespoons of the onion cooking oil for cooking the rice and lentils.
  • It is crucial to thoroughly dry the microwaved onions after rinsing. Be sure to reserve enough oil to use in Mujadara or Koshari. Remaining oil may be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 weeks; it tastes great in salad dressings, sauteed vegetables, eggs, and pasta sauces.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 999mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg