but brown gack is good!
Points in favor of this particular brown gack:
- extremely cheap, especially if you buy from the bulk bins.
- tasty in a mild and healthy manner that can stand alone or accept vast garnish.
- combines chewy grain with soft pulse for pleasing texture experience.
- excellent source of complete protein with which to shut up the relatives who say vegetarian food doesn't provide the necessary amino acids (??).
- can be made in vast bulk for feeding vast crowds/a week of lunches/to freeze.
- could clearly be made into lentil-rice kibbeh or burgers if you felt the need.
- requires little actual work.
Simmer a cup of green lentils in two cups of water. When they are mostly done (which could be anywhere from 15 minutes, especially for presoaked lentils, to a half hour), add a cup of rice. Take a look at your water content and see if you need to add more of that as well. Since I'd been a little, uh, loose with measuring before (i.e. I didn't do it), I didn't need to add more water. You may need up to a cup.
Chop the onion in half. Dice one of the halves and slice the other into halfmoons. Slide the diced onion into the pan with a couple shakes of allspice. At this point you may want to add other spices. I did not want to, possibly because there's been way too much spice and heaviness in my diet lately. That and lunch that's just a piece of cheese and a rice cake. Anyway, the plain boiling lentils smelled exactly right to me.
Lid the pan and give it another fifteen minutes or so to cook. While this is going on, slowly caramelize the onion in a little olive oil.
When time is up, taste and make sure everything is actually done. If there's too much liquid left for your tastes, uncover the pan and boil it off. Salt and pepper all you want. Serve, add as many softened onions as you want, and eat.
This goes well with:
- lots of lemon squeezed over it. Maybe this is even an occasion for preserved lemons.
- plain yogurt/soy yogurt hacked over the top.
- some reasonable hot sauce if you're in a hot sauce mood.
- naan bread, pita, or other flatbreads.
- tomato and cucumber salad, with a really vinegary, lemony dressing, or even fattoush.
- or a raita with drained cucumber and thick yogurt.
- or, as I was suddenly craving at work lunch today, lots of good salsa.
None of these are things I have (except lemons). Boo! Fortunately, mujadarra is also good in a bowl by its own self.