Lentils are among the most ancient of foods, especially in the Middle East. They are also one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Rice and lentils paired together create a complete protein (Google it). Though they are an excellent source of iron, you need to have some vitamin C with your lentils, so that it can aid your body in absorbing the iron.
When I was young, I considered mujadara to be a very boring food, just boring lentils and boring rice. I ate it, but I wasn’t excited about it. Things have changed. Now I love it!
Mujadara is made simply of lentils, rice, salt, water, and a touch of olive oil. It is then topped with onions browned in olive oil. You can play with the ratio of lentils to rice. Though these photos make it look like there is more rice than lentils, I actually used a little less rice than lentils.
Because of its earthiness, mujadara is always served with a crisp salad for freshness. Plus, the vitamin C in the salad’s vegetables and lemon juice help in iron absorption. Mujadara also pairs very well with yogurt, but if you do eat it that way, know that the vitamin D in yogurt blocks the body from absorbing the iron.