It’s All About The Onion

Sometimes you need a budget friendly meal – especially after the holidays!  My friend, iStock_000027383089XSmall_optJenny, shared this Indian dish that is very easy on the budget and delicious as well.  It’s a simple lentil and rice dish called mujadara.  Simple to make, filling, inexpensive, but it does fall into the mundane category.  Enter the caramelized onion!  That brings this dish from palatable to pure delight.

First a bit about the ingredients.  Lentils are very inexpensive and can be used in cold summer salads, soups, Mexican dishes, etc.  They are a good protein source as they contain all 8 amino acids.  Rice is inexpensive as well and is easily tolerated by those who may have difficulties with grain.  Both are even more bio-available when soaked and/or sprouted, making this dish super nourishing as well.

Here is my technique for preparation.  Place rice in a glass dish and then add double the amount of warm water.  Pour in a teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, cover and allow to soak 7 hours or overnight.  Cook how you prefer.

Place the lentils in a glass dish and cover with warm water.  Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar unless sprouting, and follow the rice procedure.  If sprouting omit juice/cider, soak 7 hours or overnight and drain.  Place in a strainer and allow to sprout over the next several hours, rinsing about every four.  When tiny white sprouts appear they are ready to cook.  Generally items that have been soaked or sprouted take less cooking time.

Now for the onions!  Finely slice at least 2 onions, or chop if you prefer.  Saute in extra virgin olive oil , coconut oil, butter or a combination on medium/high heat until they develop a dark golden color.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue to saute for about 30 minutes to bring out the sweetness.  Sprinkle with salt.  Should you decided to test them for flavor you may end up eating the entire batch so be forewarned!  Don’t skimp on the amount of onion being prepared.  Two large onions will not yield much over a cup, and believe me – you will want a disgraceful amount!

To serve layer rice, lentils, and onions adding some sour cream and sliced avocado on top.  You will be amazed at how delicious this dish will be with those tasty onions.  Other ideas for these onions – burgers, sandwiches, eggs, wraps – the possibilities are endless.  How would you enjoy them?

Cuisine: Indian
Author: Let’s Eat
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils – soaked or soaked and sprouted
  • 1/2 cup rice – soaked overnight in water and lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 t butter
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t salt
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  1. Heat oil.
  2. Add onions and cook on medium high heat until golden brown.
  3. Reduce heat and continue to saute about 30 minutes until onions have sweetened.
  4. Pour rice and water mixture into pan and bring to boil.
  5. Pour into glass casserole and add butter.
  6. Bake, covered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  7. For lentils, place in water, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  8. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until desired tenderness and drain.
  9. Add cumin and salt. Stir in.
  10. To serve layer rice, lentils, and top with onion. Serve with sour cream and avocado.


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