Day 15: Cous Cous Mujaddara (Middle Eastern/Mediterranean)

Mujadarra is a classic Arabian rice & lentildish that literally translates as 'pockmarked' (refers to the lentils interspersed between the rice). The basic recipe consists of rice, lentils & lots of caramelized onion. This version of mine uses cous cous instead of rice. I served it up with a salad of cucumbers tomatoes & toasted pecans which I ended up mixing along with the mujaddara before it occurred to me to take pictures.

Cous cous Mujadarra

You need:
1 cup cous cous
1/2 cup French Puy lentils
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely sliced onions
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout spice blend (optional, can be subbed with garam masala)
Salt to taste

Rinse the cous cous and set it to steam until the volume is doubled. Fluff with a fork to separate the 'grains'.  In the meantime, separately set the Puy lentils to cook in 2 cups of water until its cooked but not mushy (~ 20 minutes) Drain the excess water and set aside.
In a skillet heat the oil and add the minced garlic. Before the garlic begins to turn brown, add the sliced onions and allow it to cook down until the onion changes color to a deep brown and caramelizes. Add the spice blend and salt and and cook for 5 minutes more on low heat until the flavors blend.
Combine the cous cous, lentils and the onions in a large mixing bowl and fold until all the ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with a side of Tzatziki, raita or plain yogurt.


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