There’s nothing I like more than finding a great cheat for a dish that usually takes a long time to prepare. For my version of the classic Middle Eastern rice-and lentil dish called mujadara I’m using leftover rice from the other night’s takeout and canned black beans instead of dried lentils. The only thing that takes time is caramelizing the onions, and I suggest you don’t scrimp on this step. The longer the onions cook, the sweeter they become. Once that’s done, the dish takes about 5 minutes.
Also on the Menu
3 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2 medium onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon turmeric
4 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice (leftover takeout rice is encouraged)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) In a large skillet, cook onions in olive oil until very soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove ½ cup and set aside, leaving the rest in the pan.
2) Add spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3) Add rice and water and stir until onion-spice mixture and rice are completely combined and rice is coated with the spices. Sprinkle with salt and stir.
4) Add beans and pepper and stir gently. Serve at room temperature.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner