Middle Eastern Mujedra + Bolognese Indian Kheema: A Substantial Combo

Hello Substantial Living!

Today I wanted to share a dish that is a fusion of three different cultures-Indian, Middle Eastern and Italian.  Starting with mujedra which is considered to be street food in the Middle Eastern cuisine.  Mujedra is made of brown lentils mixed with rice or bulgar wheat, topped with crispy fried onions, and a cucumber yogurt.

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Mujedra is comfort food with an amazing mix of different spices that are sweet and savory.  Here’s one of my go-to recipes for this dish from one of my favorite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi.  What makes this version unique from other versions (according to one of my Lebanese friends who’s a chef) is the addition of the sautéed coriander and cumin seeds.

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I decided to mix this with a ground beef sauce made similar to a bolognese beef sauce.  Long slow simmer in a cast iron pot, but with no carrot or celery, just onions.  Moreover, I spiced the meat with garlic-ginger, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder.   The Indian name for a spiced boulagnese is kheema.

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I like to serve the mujedra and kheema with haricot vests, greek yogurt and simple persian cucumbers topped with the friend onions. This is such a flavorful, delicious meal-definitely worth a try!

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