Mujadra with salad and tahini

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February 10, 2016 by dgarnett2013

Mujadra with salad and tahini: Honey & Co, Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich


Very good with lamb cutlets with sumac and tahini sauce

Serves 4

For the lentil rice

  • 2 tabs olive oil
  • 2 – 3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced (about 400g)
  • 1 tsp + ½tsp salt
  • 1 litre cold water
  • 150g lentils – Puy are best here
  • 250g Basmati rice or long-grain Persian rice
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • a knob of butter (about 25g)


For the salad

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers or 1 – 1½ regular cucumbers
  • 5 sprigs of fresh mint, picked and chopped
  • 5 sprigs of fresh parsley, picked and chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 – 2 lemons
  • 3 tabs olive oil



  • 125g tahini paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • a pinch of salt plus more to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
  • About 120ml water


For the crispy shallots (optional). 

  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 – 3 long banana shallots, peeled and cut into little rings
  • 1 tab flour
  • a pinch of salt, plus more for sprinklnig
  • a pinch of pepper


Put the oil, onions and 1 tsp of salt in a small frying pan and fry for about 15 – 20 mins on a gentle heat until the onions start to go golden.

In the meantime set a saucepan containing the water and lentils on a high heat and bring to the boil. Then set a timer for 10 mins and levee the lentils to cook – do not turn down the heat.

Once the onions are caramelised, add the rice, butter and the additional ½tsp of salt to the frying pan and stir to coat the rice all over. Continue frying for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the rice from the heat when it starts to catch on the base of the pan and crisp up.

By now the lentils should have had 10 mins. Tip the rice mixture into the lentil pan and bring to the boil. Stir once, then cover, reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 mins.

Check that all the water has been absorbed by pushing the rice aside with a spoon so you can see the bottom of the post; if there is still liquid there, recover and cook for an extra 5 mins. Once the lentils and rice have absorbed all the water, turn the heat off and leave to ready covered for 10 – 15 mins.

Salad: Dice the tomato and cucumber as small as you can , then combine in a bowl with the other salad ingredients.

Tahini: Place the tahini, garlic, salt and lemon juice in a bowl or food processor, ad half the water and mix. It will go thick and pasty but don’t worry, just continue adding water while mixing until it loosens up to a creamy texture. Don’t be tempted to add too much water as the mixture will go runny, but if this happens, you can always bring it back with a little extra tahini paste.

Taste and adjust the salt and lemon to suit your taste buds. (You can keep the tahini in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 – 3 days, but it will thicken and the flavour may need adjusting with a little more salt/ lemon. It’s best made the same day.).

Crispy Shallots (optional): Pour a thick layer of oil into a frying pan and set over a high heat.

Mix the shallot rings, flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Once the oil is very hot (if you drop in a pinch of flour it should fizz up), drop small batches of shallots into it – they should start to bubble up straight away. As soon as each batch has browned, lift it out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.

Once all the shallots are fried, sprinkle with some sea salt. They will crisp as they cool.

Best is to bring all the various elements of this dish to the table so each person can decide how much rice, salad, tahini and shallot they want, but you can plate it up individually.

Eaten in cold February, when the garden started showing signs – just signs –  of spring.

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