26 June 2013

Mejadra from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem & Toast's Birthday!





This week at Toast it is our third birthday.  Three years....who would have thought?  3 years of cooking, baking, eating, traveling & along the way lots of wonderful food filled adventures & new friendships forged over all sorts of deliciousness.



To begin an underground supper club over at Plum Kitchen.  
Then an underground afternoon tea party with Pease Pudding.  Followed not long after after by a food bloggers pot luck lunch down country with Arfi, & since then many treats of fresh fruit from her orchards. The start of my journey to love oysters at the Oyster Shack in Wellington with Alli.  Pop up dessert restaurants.



  Many a delicious dinner & more oysters at Depot with Alli & Kristina. Delectable desserts at Milse. Art & food coming together at the wonderfully creative Art Dego.  Cuisine Master Classes.  2 amazing NZ Food Blogger Conferences one in Auckland & one in the coolest little capital in the world, WellingtonMany many wonderful cooking classes at Cook the Books with Felicity, Grant & Grace, not to mention all the cook books purchased! Taste Auckland. Tasty pastries from Alli’s stall at the Hobsonville Markets.


And then of course there are all you lovely people out there & the one’s I have come to know virtually & who drop by & make all this worth while & make me smile & can light up my day with a kind comment, a thought or tweet... thank you & here’s to many more years of fun & food filled adventures.

Being just a tad Ottolenghi obsessed I think it only appropriate that he’s here to help me celebrate, well in spirit any way with a little mejadra.  Mejadra is a little exotic & a little comforting all at the same time.  

And this week over IHCC it just happens to be all about pulses so I give you mejadra, an old Levantine dish with crispy golden onions piled atop spiced up rice & lentils which was perfect for a comforting & satisfying Sunday supper.  It also makes for a tasty lunch alongside some salad the next day.

Mejadra, from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 tbsps rice bran oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp flour
250g puy lentils
2 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp coriander seeds
200g basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground allspice
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
350ml water


Directions

Heat the rice bran oil in a medium-size heavy-based saucepan.  Toss the onions in  the flour, season with salt & when it is very hot, carefully add a third of the sliced onion. Fry for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes golden-brown & crisp. Use the spoon to transfer the onion to some kitchen paper & sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the rest of the onion.



Meanwhile, place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil & cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite. Drain & set aside.

Wipe clean the saucepan where you fried the onion & drop in the cumin & coriander seeds. Reduce the heat to medium & toast the seeds for a minute or two, just until they release their fragrant aromas. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, half a teaspoon of salt & plenty of black pepper. 


Stir to coat the rice with oil & the spices, add the cooked lentils & water. Bring to a boil, cover & simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat, lift off the lid and cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid & set aside for 10 minutes. Finally, tip the rice & lentils into a large mixing bowl. Add half the fried onion and stir gently with a fork. Mound the mejadra on a platter and top with the rest of the onion.

Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.  This is comfort food.  Filling & satisfying.



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Enjoy!

21 comments:

  1. Happy blogoversary Mairi! xxx

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  2. Congratulations on blogging for 3 years! I truly enjoy reading your recipes (and looking at your photos too).

    Mejadra is at the top of my list (I almost made it this week). I just think it looks incredible with all those crispy onions. Plus, I love the little story in the cookbook about Sami's family taking this along on a picnic and all. Looks terrific!

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    1. Thanks Kim :) It is a great dish, comforting & satisfying :)

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  3. Happy 3 years!
    Who can resist "crispy golden onions?" Not me!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, yes crispy onions...what's not to love!

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  4. Happy Blogoversary!

    The dish sounds wonderful - especially the onions fried crisp with a flour coating - and very comforting. Something to look forward to when the cooler weather comes.

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    1. Thanks Zosia :) I think that little but of flour ads just a little extra crispness which is what really makes this dish :)

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  5. Happy birthday to Toast! I appreciate all you share here, Mairi. Love this dish from Jerusalem.

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    1. Thanks Hannah....is there anything we don't love from Jerusalem?? :)

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  6. Congrats on 3 years! I'm glad to have found your blog through IHCC. ;-) I was so close to making this dish this week--it looks so good with all those caramelized onions.

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    1. Thanks Deb & I am so happy to have come to join IHCC! This Ottolenghi adventure has just been a delight!

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  7. Happy, happy blogoversary, Mairi. And who better to celebrate with than Ottolenghi.

    I've been eyeing up this dish too. It really does seem like wonderful comfort food, and I do love dishes that can be lunch the next day.

    xo

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    1. Thanks Sue :) It had to be Ottolenghi :)

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  8. Happy 3rd Blog Anniversary!
    And more cookbooks? that certainly caught my attention! Haha!
    This is a delicious looking rice dish! Definitely my kinda of meal!
    Cheers! Here's to another year of wonderful blogging!

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    1. Thanks :) Looking forward to lots more cooking & blogging! :)

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  9. Oh happy 3rd birthday - it's been quite a ride and wonderful to make your acquaintance! That top photo is gorgeous x

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    1. Thanks Lesley....I think that's been the best thing....meeting so many lovely people!

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  10. Belated Blogversary greetings. This is a wonderful dish, you just can't beat Ottolenghi. It is wonderful to see how much you have covered in 3 years. Look forward to much more to come from you :o)

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    1. Thanks Julie :) It's a bit like a food & eating diary really....hard to believe so much food made & consumed!

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