i hope everybody had a glorious thanksgiving that was filled with pumpkin, gilmore girls, stretchy pants, enough leftovers to make a day-after-thanksgiving sandwich, and lots of niece/nephew puppies. eggboy and i are back from chicago and ready to hunker down for the winter! i have no traveling lined up for this entire month and ooh baby, i am going to clean. i have an exploding prop room, a closet with as many clothes on the floor as there are falling off hangers, and a pantry that has... ugh, i don't even want to know what it has.
i'm not going to leave the house unless i absolutely have to. so get me a bulk bag of lentils and call me sia.
did i ever tell you about the time when eggboy insisted that we buy the bulk lentils from costco? this was back when i lived in brooklyn. we were going through this phase where we ate deb's lentil soup with sausage and chard almost every other day so upon our very first visit to costco as a couple eggboy thought it would be cute and hilarious if we got the ginormous, dog-food-sized bag of lentils. we hauled it back, leaving a trail of dried lentils all the way to and from the subway, and then got to work making soup. in three days we were sick of them and never wanted to see another lentil ever again for as long as we lived.
(they're probably still in that apartment. (old roommate patrick, are those lentils still there?))
i tried mujadara for the first time and all bets were off. my eyes rolled to the back of my head and i was like ermagerrrddd i loooove mujadaraaaaa. it's rice, lentils, **tonnnnns** of crispy fried onions, and all of the cold weather spices that you want right now, such as cinnamon and cumin and allspice. it's so comforting. it kind of has the appearance of a side dish, but when you think about how it's got lots of lentils, you'll realize that you can totally get away with making this a casual main. yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted almonds add more protein, and fresh herbs and lemon add a nice pop of brightness. and my version is made with shallots since over the summer our garden yielded shallots galore.
and my love of mujadara came just in time for the end of the year of pulses. have you been keeping up with your pulses this year?? i have. and not just because they present an easy way of keeping protein on hand at all times, reducing my need to put on pants and go to the grocery store. i've discovered so many great new ways to use beans, dry peas, and lentils, and i hope you have too!
shallot mujadara with herby yogurt and almonds
1 c brown or green lentils, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, halved
1/4 c canola or good olive oil
12 shallots (or more, mo' shallots mo' better)
1 tb cumin seeds
1 tb coriander seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
a dash of nutmeg
1 1/2 c basmati rice
for the herby yogurt:
1 c yogurt
1/2 c herbs (mix of cilantro, parsley, mint), finely chopped, plus more for garnish
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
in a medium saucepan, cook the lentils in 3 cups of water with 2 cloves of garlic for 15 minutes, until tender. remove the garlic cloves, drain and set aside.
heat the oil over medium high heat, fry 1/2 of the shallots until crispy and remove to a paper towel lined plate. sprinkle with salt. reduce heat to medium and add the remaining shallots. cook, stirring until golden. add the spices and cook for 2 more minutes. add the rice and 1 tsp salt, and toast, stirring, for 2 minutes. add 2 1/4 cups water and lentils and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
to make the herby yogurt, combine the yogurt, herbs, lemon, garlic, a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper.
transfer the rice to a serving platter, top with the fried shallots, herbs, sumac, and almonds. serve with yogurt. enjoy!
this post was sponsored by usa pulses & pulse canada! hooray for 2016 being the international year of the pulse! pulses are good for the health as well as the environment, so all year long (and beyond!), eggboy and i will be challenging ourselves to eat pulses at least once a week and throughout the year i’ll be sharing recipes for all sorts of pulses. if you’d like to join in on the fun, head over to pulsepledge.com and take the pulse pledge with us!!