June 12, 2016
Mujaddara with Crispy Eggplant & Walnuts - We ♥ Walnuts! #Sponsored Recipe Contest
If you are looking for an interesting and uniquely flavored way to serve lentils, make mujaddara.
A dish of Lebanon descent, it grabbed my attention while researching recipe ideas for this contest sponsored by California Walnuts.
The basic ingredients are brown lentils, white rice, caramelized onions and spices.
I added my own spice blend, chopped walnuts, pomegranate molasses, yogurt and crispy eggplant.
"I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."
While traditionally prepared in a Dutch oven on the stove, I prepared mine in a slow cooker.
(Tip: leftover rice? just omit from the cooking directions and add when done).
Walnuts have a fair amount of polyunsaturated fat and have a rich, buttery texture.
They also have 2.5g of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, 4g of protein and 2g of fiber in just one ounce.
Walnuts have the unique ability to tame bitter and equalize sweet so with the sweetness of the caramelized onions, the bitter pomegranate molasses and the tart yogurt, made them the perfect whole food to add to this already healthy dish.
I love the addition of the crispy eggplant and while the slow cooker did it's thing I julliened a small eggplant and fried them in a mere inch of olive oil.
A final dusting with the same spices cooked with the lentils and homemade pomegranate molasses on dollops of thickened plain yogurt make this a meal you could serve to company.
I believe you will make this often. Can be served at room temperature and makes a good addition to a pot luck or backyard party.
Mujaddara with Crispy Eggplant and Walnuts
makes 6 cups
* 1 small eggplant, julienned or spiralized
* olive oil for frying
* 1 teaspoon lentil spice mixture (mix to follow) + 2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat on medium, a heavy bottomed frying pan with 1" of olive oil until the handle of a wooden spoon sizzles when placed into the oil (about 7 minutes)
2. Have a sheet pan lined with paper towels sitting nearby.
3. Add half the julienned eggplant to the oil and fry until gold brown. Remove from the oil and season with half the spice mixture.
4. Repeat and when done, place the sheet pan in a 170 degree warming oven until ready to eat.
* 2 large (or 4 medium) sweet onions, sliced into 1/8" half moons
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a heavy covered skillet set on low, cook the onions in the olive oil for 40-45 minutes or until amber in color.
2. Reserve half and place the other into the insert of a slow cooker.
Lentils & Rice:
* 1 cup long grain while rice
* 1 cup brown lentils
* 3 cups broth, your choice
* 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
* 1 teaspoon allspice (+ 1/4 teaspoon for eggplant)
* 1 teaspoon cumin (+ 1/4 teaspoon for eggplant)
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander (+ 1/4 teaspoon for eggplant)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (+ 1/8 teaspoon for eggplant)
* Pinch nutmeg (+ pinch for eggplant)
* 2 teaspoons salt (+ 1 teaspoon for eggplant)
1. With half the onions already in the insert of a slow cooker, add all the rest of the ingredients and cook on Low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours. Allow the cooked mixture to sit for 30 minutes before removing to a serving platter.
2. Gently spoon the reserved caramelized onion over the rice and lentils, then place the crispy eggplant over them.
3. Spoon dollops of the yogurt over the eggplant and then spoon a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses over the yogurt.