Mejedra, Majadra, or even Enjadra are various spellings for a Middle Eastern, Sephardic comfort food. Warm and earthy, the slightly sweet and toasty flavor of well done caramelized onions with rice containing lentils is very satisfying. It is often eaten plain, as a side dish, or sometimes with yogurt for a quick lunch. When creating this recipe I opened my pantry and decided that instead of white basmati rice to make it with a brown rice with a little wild rice blended in. It was delicious but the regular white basmati is traditional.
Serves 4 to 8
2 large brown onions
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, I prefer safflower or sunflower
Sea salt to taste
1 1/ 2 cups rice, brown, white basmati
1/ 2 cup rinsed and checked brown lentils
3 cups water
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Peel both onions. Finely chop one onion and place in a medium bowl. Cut second onion in half and slice into thin half rings. Place half rings in a large bowl. Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and then add half ring onions to oil. Sauté until onions are dark caramel color and then set aside. Season onions with sea salt as they cook.
Heat a medium sauce pan on medium heat and add two tablespoons oil, then add chopped onions. Sauté until lightly caramelized and season with salt. Add rice to chopped onions and stir. Fry rice for about one or two minutes, season with salt and add lentils. Next, add water to rice mix and cover. Bring rice to a boil and as soon as it boils, turn heat down to low to simmer rice until all of the water is absorbed and rice is just starting to stick to bottom of pan, about 20 minutes. Time for cooking will vary depending on what kind of rice you use. Brown takes longer.
When rice is done, turn off the heat and allow rice to stand in the pot covered, continuing to steam for about 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and place in a serving dish. Spread dark caramelized onion on top. Scatter cilantro over the top and serve.