I love warm comforting meals, especially when it comes in one pot. This has become one of my favourite rice dishes. It reminds me of the Indian biriyani with a different spice profile. Mejadra is a Middle Eastern dish made with rice, lentils, nuts, and warming spices like cinnamon and allspice. It’s wonderfully flavorful and has a subtle sweetness to it.
This is defiantly something special to serve when entertaining or make a big batch of it and enjoy the leftovers. It’s just as good the next day.
- 540 ml can of lentils drained and rinsed
- 6 shallots thinly sliced
- ½ cup cashew pieces
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1½ tbsp coriander seeds grinded
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp ground allspice
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt plus more for taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper plus more for taste
- Peel the shallots and slice thinly.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a braiser placed over medium heat. Fry the shallots until golden brown.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once shallots are caramelized, add cashews to pan and toast at for 3 mins.
- Remove the shallots and cashews from the pan. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add in the cumin and coriander seeds.Place over medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute.
- Add the rice, mix to coat grains with oil. Add turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix well.
- Add the lentils and the water. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once done, add the fried onion and cashews to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork.
- Serve immediately.