One of my short-term ambitions is to learn how to cook Arabic food. I wanted to start with pita bread, but after hearing that the oven had to be heated to 500 degrees, I decided that maybe making pita at home wasn’t such a good idea, especially since we can get it pretty cheap from just up the road.
But then one day I decided that two months without mujadareh was too long (though usually I don’t have it that often) and wanted some. Mom and I were at the store, so we picked up some tomatoes, onions, and lentils.
I’ve been learning very quickly that learning how to cook Arabic food will break me of some of my strict hold to detail. Measurements for the seasonings? Never! Somehow I managed to get by just eyeballing and guessing, and it wasn’t so bad… except that I put too much garlic and lemon juice in the cabbage and not any of… something else, I’m not sure what I forgot.
Still, it all made it onto the table by 6-ish and tasted good – except for that we got the wrong kinds of onions for the tomato and onion salad – they were way too strong!
For those interested in a recipe…
1 cup lentils
1 cup brown rice
2-3 small onions, sliced thin
3-4 cups water
1. Sauté lentils briefly.
2. Cover with 3 cups water/stock.
3. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes while sautéing onions till transparent or a little brown.
4. Add rice to onions and sauté for a moment.
5. Transfer onions and rice to lentils and add water to cover.
6. Add lemon juice, spices to taste, stir.
7. Bring to simmer, cover, let cook approximately 40–45 minutes (will take less time if using white rice) stirring occasionally.
8. Add more lemon juice, spices if desired.
I think next up is Mrs. McDonald’s recipe for Lebanese flatbread. Not quite pita bread, but still close…