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February 15, 2006


Lynn D.

Muhjadarrah is one of my favorite foods. One could live on this and be so healthy. I urge your readers to try it. I like to serve it with a crunchy ordinary green cabbage salad with parsley, a touch of olive oil and lemon juice and/or sumac. Your post on raised cabbage pie got me on a cabbage jag: sauteed cabbage with garlic and tarragon, raw cabbage salad with garlic and tarragon, haddock chowder with potatoes and cabbage, raw cabbage salad with cilantro and lemon for our Mexican dinner tonight. Can you believe I've never had Savoy cabbage? Well, the plain cabbage is now used up, so tomorrow I go cross town to buy a Savoy and make the raised cabbage pies. (I think I'll incorporate some ideas from Deborah Madison's version in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.)


I've never had that but it sounds great. Rice and bean/lentil dishes always sound plain to me but then when you get around to eating them they can be intensely satisfying.

I generally don't think twice about using large quantities of putatively unhealthy ingredients, but 6 T of oil is a bit outrageous. I want to try it.


The ingredients in this, and your mention of starving studenthood, took me back to my student days. When I was an undergraduate, I could go for days on a pot of spiced lentils and rice. As a grad student, I often made a quick dinner of pasta tossed with caramelized onions. So this dish reminds me a bit of those old ads for peanut butter cups, with the "you got chocolate in my peanut butter" line. It never would have occurred to me to toss caramelized onions with lentils and rice, but now I'll have to try it.


Lynn: Your cabbage dishes sound fantastic. I'm thinking about making a shrimp chowder for my Friday night gang; maybe I'll do a cabbage salad to go with. I think you'll like the savoy cabbage-they always seem the most flavorful to me-except for the regular cabbages I get in my CSA farmbox. Those are so crackling crisp they make me wonder how long the supermarket cabbages hang around.

mzn: I am a fan of beans and rice- but this is my very favorite of them all. Re the 6 T of oil-this makes a lot of Muhj. (It's not, like, one serving-more like 4.)

Kimberly: Hope you enjoy the combination. I think it's one of the naturals. Nature's intended, if there are such things.


This is one of my all-time favorite middle eastern foods. Looks wonderful.


This looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. And your writing, as always, is such a joy to read. : )

Baking Soda

Hmm, I've never had this but it sounds great. I suspect you knew I had some -orange- lentils lurking in my cupboard, not knowing what to do with? Love your recipes, unlike other yummy things I read, yours always seem fit to feed a family (or a table full of friends). Love that!


Hi Kalyn-it's a good one, isn't it?
Farmgirl and Baking soda-if you try it, let me know how you like it. It is a definite family favorite-hope you will like it, too.


Yes, yes I am a starving vegetarian student! This is just the recipe for me :) Thanks for sharing...will try it and let you know how it goes. How lucky am I, I even have some sumac (sent by an angel in "blogging by mail").

Baking Soda

We had so much fun tonight, I made your recipe and explained that this was yours, and it was called: Muhjadarrah, which prompted one of the twins (9yrs old)to say, hmm it tastes "gatverdarre" (which translates in a polite form of gross!) I'm so sorry. I think it was entirely my mistake to use these orange lentils, they were mealy and not tasty at all. The kids just didn't like the orangey bits but loved the rice, onions and salad. They asked if you were the one from the Royal Crown and then said: Well mom, I just think you didn't read carefully enough, the bread was great so....!
All we could was laugh.


Oh-I'm so sorry it didn'y turn out well-at least it rhymned! I just looked up about orange lentils, and it said that unlike the green and brown ones they are hulled, disintegrate quickly, and are "best used as thickeners in pureed soups and gravies."
I guess that explains the texture.
I didn't know this either, and if I'd had orange ones, I'd have tried to use them too! Sorry you had to be the ones to find this out! I am going to add a note to the recipe to say to avoid them!

Baking Soda

Yay! It wasn't me nor the recipe, just those orange lentils! Thank you for looking this up Lindy. (It also helps explain why I had to throw away lentilsoup a few weeks ago, phew!)

clare eats

FG just sent me over to have a look at this as I am having a veggie week (at lease) this looks delicious, I have some Australian blue lentils which will be perfect!


Hi clare, thanks for stopping by. I have never had blue lentils-and after B. soda's experience with the orange ones, I'm hoping they will be ok in this! I've only made it with the french green ones, and the common variety browns.You do want some that won't go mushy fast.
Blue lentils sound pretty. Do they stay blue when cooked?

clare eats

Hi Lindy
They are pretty much identical to french puy lentils, they aren't really blue when cooked but the water is almost a dark bluegreen, They stay together really well when cooked.


Hi Lindy
Made this recipe tonight. I have never been a fan of the earthy lentil soups I have had. These have been my only lenil experiences to date. I bought green lentils on a whim about six months ago during one of my excursions to Fairway which I had in the freezer, along with some basmati rice. I had one small yellow and one red onion in the basket, so I browned them up and....WOW. My daughter and I LOVED it. I diced up some leftover chicken and threw it in at the end just to use it up (I hate to throw food away), but I have to say it would have been just as good without it. This recipe will definitely be heavily rotated in my repertoire. THANK YOU!!!!!


So I made this and it was great. The 6 tbs of oil and chocolate-brown onions are essential, just like you say. The lemony salad dressing is also a good bright contrast to the flavor of the muhjadarrah. And I thought you might be interested to know that I mistakenly added 1.5 rather than 1.25 cups of lentils to the water and the dish cooked up just right, no problem. Thanks for the recipe.


mzn, Heather, clare: Glad you enjoyed it. I was thinking it might be fun (and useful) to have a blog event where people post about their best incredibly cheap specialties. I'm a bit leery about that sort of thing, though; it looks a lot of work to round it up..and I'm not much of a computer wizard.


Thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe! I made it the other night using french lentils and I am sure this is a new favorite for us. I used some of the leftovers with a gumbo last night and it was so much better than plain old rice. I can't wait to try variations....! I was also thinking about sprinkling feta and a squeeze of lemon juice and serving it cold as a salad.....


They used to serve something like this at one of the HP campuses I worked at. I always looked forward to the one day a week it was the luncheon special. If you got it "to go," they put it in a huge container that held enough to feed a family of five! I'm happy to see a recipe for it.


I have just been reading your recipe which sounds delicious. I am going camping in kakadu for 10 days and we have to carry all our food in and I thought this might be a good recipe as it would be easy to carry. As we won't be carrying salad [too heavy] could i add some dehydrated vegetables to the mix? thanks annie


annie-I wouldn't..personally I wouldn't want to disturb the balance of the simple flavors. I'd be inclined to skip the veg with this and maybe have some dried fruit on the side?


mmmmmmmm cabbage. i just got a rice cooker, i bet i could just throw some rice and lintles together in there and they'd get done without much intervention on my part. super easy


I had eaten this dish before and love it. I would like to make this, but would like to use brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice takes longer to cook. How would you alter this dish for brown rice?

Thanks so much!


I copied this recipe down a few weeks ago and have made it several times. My youngest daughter and I both love it, but being the mom I have to let her have the last bites. It's only fair. We made it again yesterday with Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley and it was even better, if that's possible. I just added the lentils and rice at the same time to adjust for the longer cooking time of brown rice.


So glad you like it, Megan; it is really my favorite-and you have answered Della's question.


There are other people in the world who eat mjudra?
My dad is Lebanese, and on Fridays in Lent we have mjudra, hummus, baba ghanouj (roasted eggplant dip) and salata (salad with lemon juice/salt/olive oil/garlic dressing) with Alphonso olives.
Whenever we make mjudra, we add some allspice with the salt and pepper.
Really adds a lot.
The brown lentils are the best, I think; if you let it cook long enough, they'll just fall apart and you'll have a delicious porridge-y dish.
Bit of trivia: in the Bible, Esau sells his birthright to his brother for stew (mjudra).

D Daniel

I just made this again after finding the recipe here on your page ages ago... Thank you thank you again for one of my favorite recipes!


WHERE do you find good lentils. Live in Arlington, Tx. I have found dried lentils but not real good at Kroger. I at them at Mirage Buffet and tried to duplicate at home, but was gross. Thanks


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