Master Chef Moments: Pomegranate Mujeddara with Quinoa

For those of you know me well, I really love food!  Good food that raises the bench mark in what the art of cooking is all about of course.  My all time favorite show in the universe is Master Chef ( it has to be the Australian version- the best dynamic and energy of the whole franchise). I could literally watch that show non-stop for days and do nothing else!  It’s always happy place and I learn great ideas and tips that inspire me in the kitchen.

Despite my hectic schedule, I make a big effort to make healthy food at home for me and my family to enjoy.  I still do most of the cooking even though I have help at home, and from time to time I have my master chef moments in which I create something extraordinary…in taste, inventiveness and even in the health factor.

We do have an animal protein a few times a week (eventually I am working on becoming a vegetarian family) and on other days I do use a variety of beans and pulses in our meals to give us an alternative protein.  Quinoa is a great substitute for rice and it is a plant based complete protein with 8 grams of protein per one cup serving.

My children absolutely love this dish! Every time I make it, their plates are always left completely cleaned…and their tummies, happy and full.

Here’s my take on the traditional Middle Eastern Mujeddara (rice with lentils) that will have your mouth screaming with flavor and texture with a delightfully delicious reinvention of one of my favorites dishes.

I cook most of my food intuitively and by taste, so you may do the same while using the recipe as guide.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Brown/Green Lentils picked and washed
  • 7 Medium Onions sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Quinoa
  • 3 Cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 Bunch Coriander chopped
  • 3-4 Tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Pomegranate arils
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp 7 Spices mix powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 Cups water
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Yogurt
  • 1-2  Cucumbers chopped finely
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Place 6 sliced onions with a generous coating of olive oil to bake in the oven until brown and crispy.

Then in a pot, sautee remaining onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil along with chopped garlic and spices for 5 minutes until onions become soft.  Add in lentils and cook together for another 5 minutes.  Pour in the 2 cups of water then bring the mixture to a steady boil on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Once the lentils are becoming soft (if they are over cooked they will become very mushy) add in the coriander, pomegranate molasses, and quinoa.  You might need to add in a little more water to the mixture as the quinoa with absorb it as it’s cooking. (the water should cover the mixture completely with 1 cm extra on top)

Allow this to come up to a boil for 2-3 minutes, then cook on low heat for another 15-12 minutes until the quinoa is done.  (you will see the “ring” separate from the quinoa kernel).

For the yogurt sauce, mix together yogurt, cucumbers and a few spoons of water in a bowl and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add in baked onion slices to the mixture. Serve with yogurt sauce and pomegranate arils…et voila! A Master chef vegetarian meal that’s easy to make and satisfying for the tummy.

Oh Mujeddara, get in my belly…now.

 

 

 

 

Mariam Yasin

Mariam Yasin

Internationally renowned Wellness Expert, Trainer and Therapist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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