My oh my Moudardara…

MoudardaraI finally got off my bum and committed to a cookery course! You may have seen a few of my snaps from the course last week. I’ll share more as soon as I have time to sit at a proper computer. Do follow me on Instagram (rachelkinchin) if you’d like to see more foody snaps as the action is happening! I am currently on the train on my way to bath for the next and final four days of the course, so here’s my favourite recipe from day one. (I have LOVED all of the recipes and will share them with you over the coming weeks!) These recipes are shared, courtesy of Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School. with a few of my own suggestions thrown in for good measure.

This dish is a magical middle-eastern delight and it’s easy – a simple showstopper. I made it as soon as I got home from the first week of the course and although I didn’t have quite the right ingredients, it still worked. I used flat leaf and curly leaf parsley, hazelnuts and walnuts. The rice is coated in olive oil before cooking and the caramelised onions make it a force to be reckoned with.

Rice and lentils, with caramelised onions and saffron…

Dietary: vegan and gluten free
Serves 4

Ingredients –
1 tbsp olive oil/1 tsp lightly crushed cumin seeds/180g basmati rice
/320ml boiling water/3/4 tsp salt/½ tsp saffron threads/100g cooked brown lentils/20g dried barberries, soaked for 10 minutes (or use chopped unsweetened cranberries)/3 tbsp chopped parsley/1 tbsp chopped tarragon or mint

4 tbsps fried onions
30g chopped pistachios

Put the olive oil, cumin seeds and rice into a saucepan and fry gently for 1 minute, making sure the rice is coated in oil. Add the boiling water and salt. Put a lid on and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside, it will turn into a beautiful sunset of edible colour.
When the rice is ready, pour the saffron water over the surface. Cover the pan immediately with the lid. Leave for 5 minutes.
Fluff the rice up with a fork.
Drain the barberries and stir them into the rice along with the herbs. Stir the lentils through and serve in a dish, topped with fried onions and pistachios and some extra herbs for luck!

Cooking lentils
Brown lentils do not need soaking, simple wash and drain them. Place them in a pan with plenty of water, a bay leaf and an onion, copped in half. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Fried Onions Slice 2 large onions, heat 2 tbsp ghee and rapeseed oil. Put one slice in if it sizzles then add the rest and add a pinch of salt, sugar and a good grating of pepper. Make sure all the slices are separated and coated in oil. Turn down the heat and leave it to cook slowly and become a very dark caramelised colour. This might take 30 – 40 minutes.

Make these ahead of time and make plenty! Keep them in your fridge for a few days and use them on everything! They are a bloody wonder and add an extra depth to most middle eastern dishes.

So that’s Moudardara. We ate it with stuffed tomatoes. I ate it at home witha lemony rocket salad. Both quite delicious.


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