Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Rainy Day Comfort Food: Lebanese Mdardara, a Pot of Tea, and Robert Redford
My umbrella actually turned inside-out in the wind today. First time ever. So I arrived home from Mother's Day shopping soaked to the bone and freezing.
Home is not much drier. My ceiling and windows are leaking again and my kitchen floor is an inch-deep in water from the leaking freezer, which has stopped freezing.
Obviously, it's time for some warm comfort food, a pot of tea, and a Robert Redford movie.
So I made Mdardara. This is one of my favorite comfort foods: warm, slow-cooked rice and lentils with soft and fragrant onions.
I've seen all sorts of variations on this recipe. This one has cumin, my favorite spice.
Makes enough for 5
1 cup red lentils
2 cups rice
3 cups water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (I actually use quite a bit more, but best to start slow)
1 onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup olive oil
Simmer the lentils and water over medium heat for about 30 minutes until they're soft and mushy.
Fry the onions in the olive oil until they turn golden, then add them to the lentils. Add the rice, salt, cumin, and let everything simmer for 25 minutes. If the water is all absorbed before the rice is finished cooking, add some more water. Serve warm, on a stormy day, in conjunction with a Robert Redford film.