My husband is a vegetarian and I am often on the hunt for new recipes with some version on non-gassy protein alternative. Often I end up making mujadra – a delicious rice and lentil dish. It is easy and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Now luckily for me, I have a husband that is happy eating the same thing over and over. However, I love to experiment and make new dishes for the both of us. So tonight I made an experiment and it was deeeelicious.
I was inspired by mujedra and makluba (a hearty dish of rice, lamb/chicken, eggplants, cauliflower and rice).
The recipe is step-intensive as this dish is all about the layering of flavors. Read through the recipe at least twice.
Rice, Lentil & Eggplant Stew
1 small eggplant
1 cup of dry brown lentils (mine are not fast cook)
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 clove of garlic (or a bit more if you like garlic, or none if you don’t)
1 cup of brown short grain rice
Canola oil (or your oil of choice except olive oil)
- Pour one cup of lentils into a saucepan or small pot
- Cover the lentils with water
- Add the bay leaves.
- Put a lid on the saucepan and let it cook on a medium flame for 20 minutes (or until they are soft)
- Wash + dice the eggplant
- Add eggplant into a bowl and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of salt on the eggplant and mix with your hands. You want to dry out the eggplant a bit
- Chop a whole onion + garlic
- Place the saucepan on medium heat and add a tablespoon of canola oil. Give it a minute or two so the oil gets hot.
- Add the onion + garlic and give the pot a good shake to coat the onion + garlic in oil. Leave until they turn a gorgeous yellow color (around 10 minutes). You do not want to mix for the first couple of minutes.
- Once the onion is a rich yellow color, pour it out into a large bowl
- Add another tablespoon of canola oil and add the diced eggplant. Mix it a bit to soften. You need to mix it once in awhile while it’s cooking so it does not stick and burn. (Cooking should take no more than 10 minutes).
- Pour the cooked eggplant over the onion in the bowl
- Now it is time for the gorgeous flavors. Add the spices to the pot – coriander seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and cinnamon.
- Stir the spices- by frying the spices in the remaining oil/hot pot, we are opening up the flavors
- Add 1/4 of a cup of water, mix and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure you got all the spices.
- Pour the liquid over the eggplant and onions.
- Transfer the onion and eggplant back into the pot and add the cup of raw brown short grain rice on the top.
- Pour water until it just covers the top of the rice (around 2 cups), add the lid and let it sit on the stovetop for about 20 minutes on the medium flame.
- Once you cannot see the water anymore, turn off the heat and leave the top on for another 10 minutes.
Now it’s time to combine the two pots.
- Strain the lentils in case there is remaining water (I always have too much water).
- Remove the bay leaves
- Mix the cooked lentils well into the second pot with the rice,eggplant and onion.
**The dish does not need any additional salt since we never washed it off the eggplant