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Mjaddara (Vegetarian lentil paste) - مجدرة


Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 cup of lentils
1/4 cup rice
1 onion
olive oil
Salt
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of allspice (= 7 spices)

Wash the lentils and put in a pot with 4-5 cups of water, let it boil gently and cook for 15 minutes. Soak the rice in water. After the lentils are cooked all the way, drain the lentils and grind them but keep the water on the side. Meanwhile in a pan, add the chopped onion, olive oil, salt and cook the onions for few minutes on medium flame, don't brown them just until they turn a bit gold.
Add the grinded lentils to their water, then add the onions with olive oil, add the soaked rice, spices and cumin. Cook for another 15 minutes on low. You have to stir it every couple of minutes because it can stick and burn easily. you might need to add a bit more water if you feel that it's too thick to cook the rice. It's done when it thickens. Not too lumpy but not too thick. Pour it in a bowl and let it cool off for few minutes.
Serve with bread and salads. (Fattoush is perfect with Mjaddara).

MAG

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The Phoenicians

"Upon the Tsurian sea the people live
Who style themselves Phoenicians...
These were the first great founders of the world --
Founders of cities and of mighty states --
Who showed a path through seas before unknown.
In the first ages, when the sons of men
Knew not which way to turn them, they assigned
To each his first department; they bestowed
Of land a portion and of sea a lot,
And sent each wandering tribe far off to share
A different soil and climate. Hence arose
The great diversity, so plainly seen,
'Mid nations widely severed."

-- Dyonysius of Susiana, A.D. 3
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