Thursday, 8 May 2014

Megadarra: Irresistible Brown Gloop

Some dishes taste way more incredible than the simplicity of their ingredients would suggest.  Eggs on buttered toast comes to mind.  It's the dish that I craved when pregnant and those runny yolks were out of bounds.  And the Middle Eastern dish, megadarra, that is taken from the classic New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden  is one of those.  Who would have thought that just lentils, rice and onions could taste so utterly delicious.  I urge you to try this recipe that is so cheap it will bring out your inner Jack Monroe.  It's a handy one to have up your sleeve for vegetarian and vegan friends.  Just make sure that they keep their clothes on!

Cook 100g of green lentils in enough water to cover them for about 20  minutes until they are soft. Whilst you're doing that fry a chopped onion until it's golden with caramelised bits  in a really good glug of olive oil. Cast all low fat thoughts about dabbing the pan with a scant brushing of fat asunder.  The oil is a crucial flavour in the final dish. When the onions are done add them to the lentils together with 100g of long grain rice and cover with more water. Season really generously with salt and pepper.

While the rice mixture is cooking pop another hearty splodge of olive oil in the pan and cook two onions, that have been halved and sliced this time.  Once they are luscious and caramelised pour all the pan contents, including oil, onto the unappealing looking brown stuff in the other saucepan. Perk up the colour with a bit of parsley and wedges of lemon if you have them and serve at room temperature with yoghurt.

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