Difficult to say, but so very easy to enjoy, Mujudara combines hearty lentils and cracked wheat with crispy fried onions in one delicious masterpiece of a dish. As with Lentil Soup, always make sure that the lentils you’re using are free of stones before beginning this recipe. Equipment-wise, a 4-quart pot works best for Mujudara. And a final word about those fried onions: the trick to avoiding burning is to cook them low, slow, and agitate as you go.
- 1 ½ cups onion, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp Syrian Spice
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 lb lentils
- 6 cups of water
- 1 cup coarse cracked wheat (bulgur #3)
- 1 large yellow onion for frying
Cooking the Mujudara
In a large pot, cook onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden. Add Syrian Spice, salt, and pepper. Stir spices as they toast. Add lentils and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down and cover with a vented lid, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add cracked wheat to pot and stir to incorporate. Replace lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside while you fry the onions.
For the Fried Onions
Cut off both ends of the large yellow onion, then slice onion directly in half to create symmetry in the rings.
Remove skin. Julienne by hand using a paring knife or slice with a mandolin. (Note: See video below for demonstration.)
Line a glass dish with a paper towel topped with perforated parchment paper and set aside.
Frying the Onions
Put sliced onion into a deep sauté pan. Add 1 cup olive oil and cook on the stove over medium heat. Onions will begin to shimmer. Stir occasionally for the first five minutes, and constantly thereafter. Watch closely and remove onions from heat right before they turn from golden brown to a deeper brown.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried onions to parchment paper. Pour the remaining oil into the Mujudara pot and stir to combine. You should hear a nice sizzle.
Serve mounded in the center of a dinner plate and top with caramelized onions. A Tomato and Cucumber Salad is the perfect accompaniment. A simple, plain yogurt makes for a delicious pairing as well!