Friday, March 3, 2017

Mujadara (pressure cooker)

I remember the first time I had Mujadara. I was at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant Mamoun's with my friend T, who was in town visiting. She had this dish back home and suggested we order it. When it arrived all I could smell was perfectly fried onion and garlic. (Only my favorite savory combination.)

I've since had it at several other restaurants but nothing has come close. I found a recipe online that I had been making on the stove top. It's great, but now that I have my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, I needed to try and convert it! This took minimal time to prepare and was so  tasty. I enjoyed this with some Middle Eastern Moroccan Stew, which you can also whip up in your pressure cooker before (or at the same time if you have two)!

A really important note about this recipe: Make sure your lentils have a similar cook time to the brown rice. Split lentils will not work and will end up being mush. I had some Black Beluga Lentils, but there are many other varieties that you can find at many stores My brown rice water ratio is 1:1 and for whole lentils is 1:2.

First I started by sautéing some onion, lots of onion! I heated up about 1/3C of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sautéed the onions for about 13 minutes. The trick is, you really need to brown these to get the flavor out. When they start to caramelize is when the magic happens. When they are done, add your garlic and keep frying for a few more minutes. Then move all of your onion-y goodness to a bowl to put back in later.

I took my rinsed lentils and rice and put them in my pressure cooker with a little more EVOO. Stir-fry for a few minutes to get some of that moisture out. Add your water or stock and a little Salt and Pepper. Cook for 15 minutes on Manual and allow for 5 minutes of NPR, then switch to Quick Release. This keeps your brown rice a little nutty and not over cooked.

This is what it will look like when you're done. Set to Saute, add your onion and garlic mixture back in and stir. Just a minute or two should get rid of an extra moisture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh Parsley and Enjoy!

Mujadara (pressure cooker)

serves 4 as a side dish
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1/2 C whole lentils (a variety that takes about 40 minutes to cook)
  • 2 C water or stock (scant if a lot of moisture is left in your rinsed rice and lentils)
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 C plus 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for serving
set your pressure cooker to sauté and add 1/3C EVOO. When oil is hot, add your sliced onions and some salt and pepper. Sauté between 10-15 minutes. This will depend on how hot your pressure cooker gets and how thin you sliced your onions. When they are well browned, add your garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Remove and keep in a bowl to add back in later.

Rinse your lentils and rice in a fine mesh strainer. I like to dab mine with a towel or paper towel to get out some more of the moisture. Add 1TB of EVOO to your pressure cooker (still on sauté) and stir-fry for a few more minutes to get some moisture out. Add your water or stock, lock your lid in place, and set to manual for 15 minutes. When your timer goes off, allow for 5 minutes of NPR, then quick release. 

Add back in your onion and garlic mixture and season with Salt and Pepper to taste. I serve this topped with fresh parsley and sometimes a squeeze of lemon.

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