Monday, February 25, 2013

Asian-style Vegetable Mujadara

I started cooking last week intending to make something like this vegetable barley soup, but somewhere along the way it morphed into an Asian-seasoned and vegetable laden version of this mujadara.  So much so, that when my sister got home and asked what I had cooked my only response was, I don't really know.

It all took a left turn when I decided to use coconut oil instead of olive oil to saute the onions, and the smell of the coconut oil reminded me of Asian flavors and that we had some leftover lotus root in the fridge from the bibimbap Megan had made.  So instead of continuing on with an english vegetable barley soup, I thought I would just make an asian vegetable barley soup.  However, I don't know that there are any asian dishes that use barley, so it morphed into what was intended to be an asian vegetable rice soup, but then I added lentils to the pot after adding the rice and before I knew it, I had something more similar to mujadara.

Asian-style Vegetable Mujadara, adapted from here and here:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 spicy pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup green lentils
4 cups broth (or water)
5 leaves kale, de-ribbed and chopped
Lotus Root, to serve

Saute onion, parsnip, and celery in coconut oil in a medium saucepan for just a minute or two, and then added ground spices to fry a little in the oil.  Saute for about 5 minutes until softened and just starting to brown, stirring often to keep from sticking.  Squeeze in lemon juice to de-glaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add the rice and lentils, to let toast a little before stirring to mix thoroughly and adding stock (or water).  Bring to a boil, and then cover, lower heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep bottom from sticking.  (This dish is done once the rice is cooked through.)  If at any point it gets too dry, add some more water and give a good stir.  Check at 30 minutes for rice doneness.  If not done add some more water and cook for another 5-10 minutes, checking until the rice is cooked to your preference.  Once rice is cooked, stir in kale and cook for just a minute or two, until the kale wilts.  Serve with lotus root, if you happen to have some on hand.

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