Here's a bit of history on the ancient dish, from Wikipedia: The first recorded recipe for mujaddara appears in Kitab al-Tabikh, a cookbook compiled in 1226 by al-Baghdadi in Iraq. Containing rice, lentils, and meat, it was served this way during celebrations. Without meat, it was a medieval Arab dish commonly consumed by the poor, reputed to be a derivative of the "mess of pottage" Jacob used to buy Esau's birthright. A saying in the Eastern Arab world perhaps inspired by the Biblical story is, "A hungry man would be willing to sell his soul for a dish of mujaddara."
3 cups uncooked lentils
6+ cups water
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons ground cumin
3 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 1/4 cups brown rice
4 1/2 cups water (approx.).
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup olive oil
6 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
Lebanese Salad (Salata)*
Unsweetened Greek yogurt (or vegan sour cream with fresh lemon juice stirred in)
Whole grain pita wedges, warmed and lightly toasted in an olive-oil coated skillet
In a large kettle, combine the lentils, water, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin and garlic powder; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are soft, but not disintegrating, about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. (If the lentils cook dry before becoming soft, add more water).
In a medium kettle, combine the rice, water, 2 Tablespoons oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If the rice cooks dry before becoming soft, add more water).
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until browned, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the onions are browned and the lentils and rice are well-cooked, transfer the rice to the large kettle with the lentils, then stir gently until well-mixed. Spoon into a large bowl. Top with the caramelized onions.
Spoon Lebanese Salad (Salata) into the center, or serve as a side dish. Also serve with Greek yogurt, if desired.
VERY loosely adapted by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, from allrecipes.com, which was basically just a starting point for my recipe.
Photo from Alladin's Eatery, see http://www.aladdinseatery.com.