Mujadara is one of the most versatile dishes in my repertoire, and a very favorite for being that—and for being so simple, so healthy, and most importantly: so delicious.
The simplicity starts with the fact that mujadara can be made with very few ingredients. Lentils, coarse bulgur or long grain rice, lots of yellow onion, oil. Spices can be as basic as salt and pepper (my version), though many cooks use other spices too, such as cumin, allspice, coriander. Watch me make Mujadara on Instagram, and review the recipe here. Get your ingredients, because the right ones matter, at Maureen Abood Market here.
I am always looking to make and eat the foods that “stay with me,” in the best sense of that phrase. The perfect protein/carb combo of lentils and bulgur or rice, plus the rich healthy fat of olive oil, is on the low end of the glycemic index. That means absorption happens slowly in our systems and allows us to be nourished—and satisfied—for a good long time after eating. In turn, one is less inclined to reach for those quick energy foods that are sugary, carb-heavy. A.K.A., afternoon sweets (my personal bad habit that is in process of being kicked).
Versatility of mujadara is supreme. Eat mujadara warm or at room temperature. Eat mujadara straight from the pan or atop a salad. Platter mujadara with vibrant greens and avocado and tomato for a splash. Mujadara for breakfast? Yessir, topped with an egg (thank you cousin Cheryl, for this ingenious insight). My brother Chris suggested mujadara as a base for baked eggs in individual baking dishes would be grand. Agreed! Funny, he gave me little individual Le Creuset baking dishes for Christmas. I think he’s hoping to eat something delicious from them soon….
Mujadara on the go? Another favorite, as a pita wrap. Slather your pita with labneh (thickened yogurt), add lifft (turnip pickles) and fresh herbs (go mint!) or greens. Roll it up, wrap one end in a napkin, and you’re off!
Mujadara Pita Roll Up
Use large, thin, soft, pliable pita bread for the roll-up. You can cut the pita in half, or just keep one end of the roll-up open and eat from that end. The other end can be wrapped in a napkin.
- 1 large pita, thin and soft
- 1/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt
- A few pickled turnips, lifft
- A few fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup mujadara
Lay the pita flat on a plate or work surface. Spread the labneh over the center area of the pita. Scatter the pickles and mint evenly over the labneh. Spoon the mujadara evenly across the middle of the pita. Cut in half on an angle, and serve immediately.