October 27, 2006

Middle Eastern Deliciousness

I all ready mentioned how I came into possession of this book and how a more than handful of recipes from this book are utterly fantastic. I neglected to say that the only other positive thing to come from that class was meeting my good friend GG. The past few recipes she hasn't been able to make because some of the ingredients aren't available in Montevideo. I hope that you can make this though. It's perfect for a cold night. I love the combination of heartiness from the rice and lentils, sweetness from the onions and tanginess from the yogurt. It's one of those dishes that is perfectly balanced. We upped the amount of onions in ours because they're our favorite part. There is such a thing as too much though, I think 1 lb or even a little more is good, but not too much more than that. This is really meant to be a side dish but we have it dinner. A green salad would be nice to get in some veggies.

Megaderra, adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

3 TB olive oil
1 lb onions, sliced
2 pinches ground coriander
2 pinches ground cumin
1 1/4 cups whole brown lentils
1 1/4 cups long-grain rice
Plain yogurt
Good quality olive oil

Heat 3 TB olive oil in a large skillet with a lid. When hot, add onions. Stir to coat onions in oil then turn heat down low. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes; stir occasionally.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Add coriander, cumin and lentils. Return to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes, or until lentils are about halfway done.

Add rice to lentils. Salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cover. Cook for about another twenty minutes or until both lentils and rice are tender.

Remove lid from onions and and turn heat to medium. Cook off all water and turn heat up to medium-high. Stir often until onions are a deep brown. This will probably take about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, you can serve this two ways. Combine all components together or leave them separate, which is more attractive. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of the good oil on top. Mmmm.

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Anonymous gauchaguapa said...

I found coriander today! ALong with fresh tofu, soba noodles, and mountain of new herbal teas to try. Wow. The things that excite me. Now my question for you is are you going to try to make a pumpkin pie this year from fresh pumpkin?

October 31, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Whee! How exciting! Believe it or not, I haven't actually made pumpkin anything from stratch. Word on the street is that it is easier and tastier to use Kabocha or another rich orange squash for "pumpkin" desserts because they aren't as watery. I did make pumpkin cupcakes recently though, but the pumpkin was from a can. Hey, it was from TJ's and organic.

October 31, 2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Gauchaguapa said...

You are right...I used to work at a Farmer´s Market in Oxnard (its called Olivas Park Farmer´s market on Olivas Park Road if you are ever in Oxnard. Tell them I sent you =) Anyway, one of the owner´s used to make sweet potato pies instead of pumpkin. It was very good. She also had another secret ingredient in there for sweetness, but I dare not reveal it on the internet. =)
Lots of love, GG

November 01, 2006 5:31 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

But you will let me know via e-mail right?

November 01, 2006 8:46 PM  
Anonymous gauchaguapa said...

(she says with a mischievous grin)

November 02, 2006 5:03 AM  
Blogger AnaMariainSB said...

I love syncronicity... and Megaderra! I just brought out last weekend, from a box of books I had stashed, one of my favourite cookbooks/storybooks: A taste of Palestine. I learned how to make Megaderra/Mejaddarah when I lived in the Middle East. A family one pot, feel good warm the belly dish! I love it. I carmelize the onions and garnish them on top.. yogurt is a must (hint: the one at Trader Joe's European style Organic.) Okay Meredith I pulling out my lentils...:)
GG: I think I have made this for you and mom...

December 07, 2006 8:56 AM  

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