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Rice and lentil pilaf with crispy onions and lemony cabbage salad (M'jadara)


Rice and lentil pilaf

  • 1 cup du Puy (or brown) lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white basmati rice, presoaked and drained
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 onions, sliced in thin rounds, to garnish
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying 

Lemony cabbage salad

  • 2 handfuls of finely shredded savoy cabbage (1/2 a small head)
  • 2 handfuls of finely shredded red cabbage (1/2 a small head)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint, salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 


Rice and lentil pilaf instructions

  1. In a medium pot place the lentils and cover them with the stock. Bring to a boil to cook the lentils until al dente for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. 
  2. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and fry the chopped onion until soft. Pour on top of the lentils. Add the drained rice, allspice, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring the pot back to the heat and bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and leave to simmer for about 12 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked. Leave covered until ready to serve.
  3. Sprinkle the ½ tsp of salt on the onions and toss. Leave aside for 5 minutes. Wash with cold water and drain well. Place the onions in a clean dish towel and dry completely. Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Fry the onions until they are crispy and golden. Remove and drain on absorbent paper. Serve the pilaf garnished with the crispy onion rounds.

Lemony Cabbage salad instructions

  1. Place the two kinds of shredded cabbage in a nice serving bowl. Add the tomatoes. Make the dressing by combining the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss gently. Garnish with the toasted hazelnuts. Serve immediately. 

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