This recipe has all you could ever ask for: ease, savory flavor, inexpensive ingredients, and an addicting aroma. Adapted from the Middle Eastern dish Mujadrah, or Enjedra, I “Americanized” it (or just “Abby-ized) it by switching from little lentils to meaty black beans, adding quinoa, and changing up the spices a bit. This simple combination of ingredients transforms into a fragrant dish with rich caramelized onions, pairing perfectly with hummus, raita, cucumber slices, pita crisps, and a side of braised kale for a complete meal.
Serves: 4 to 6
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced into rings, then halved
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup long-grain brown basmati rice, rinsed
- 15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, or less/more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°
- In a large, deep baking pan, toss the onions with the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle a bit of salt over. Be sure to separate the onion slices and spread them out in the pan. Roast in the over for 25 to 30, minutes, stirring often. The best caramelized onions are deep brown, crisp, and even burned on the some of the edges—the deeper they roast, the sweeter they’ll taste. When done, remove and set aside.
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add the rice, and cook as directed; about 35-40 minutes. About 10 minutes from the rice being done, add the cumin, cinnamon paprika, and salt.
- Then, when the rice is about done, add the black beans and stir gently so as to not break the rice grains or smash the beans. Let sit, covered, until all liquid is absorbed.
- Remove rice from heat and set aside to cool, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Using a fork, gently fluff the rice and beans. Gently fold the caramelized onions into the rice and beans, being sure to drizzle any remaining olive old from the roasting pan. Stir well, but gently!
- Serve warm alongside hummus, Indian raita (try Trader Joe’s!), and cucumber slices, then use curry pita crisps to dip into the goodness. Enjoy!
Lunchbox lesson: I’ve found that the leftovers are almost better—the spices deepen overnight. So, try stuffing a pita pocket with the rice & bean mixture along with hummus, raita, cucumber, and mixed greens, and you’ve got yourself an enviable office lunch!
Click here for the PDF version of the recipe, including the Curry Pita Crisps; a great snack at work with hummus!
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern