I've eaten the Middle Eastern dish called mujadara (I've also seen it spelled majadra or megadarra) in a few restaurants. I like its comforting simplicity, but I find it a little on the bland side. When I make it at home, I spice it up. Here's my version, which is adapted from the Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions recipe in Veganomicon. This serves two hungry people.
1 large onion (any kind, today I used red)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the onion thinly and toss with olive oil on a big parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want the onion to caramelize, turning brown and slightly crispy.
While the onions are doing their thing, combine the rice and lentils in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Add the cinnamon stick, cumin, salt, allspice and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until it's nice and mushy. Remove from the heat and add the caramelized onions, stirring to combine. Serve.
I like to serve it topped with a few thin slices of pickled banana pepper, which I realize is probably not a traditional Middle Eastern topping, but it sure does taste good.