Desert Olives

Mjeddera and the Remake

When I confess to neighbors that I am making mjeddera for dinner, they give a little laugh.  It’s peasant food.  We love it.  Somehow, it is the most comforting, nourishing bowl of ugly lentils, rice, onions and yogurt.  I make it in the crock pot, combining a recipe using brown rice with the spice mix used in the Mjeddera recipe found in this beloved cookbook .  Even better, for the leftovers, we have invented a “remake” including many of our favorites like feta and dates and pistachios.


I thought it was about time for a recipe for those wanting some comfort food from the Middle East and a delicious way to bring it back to the table a few days later…


2 cups brown rice

4 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

10 cups water

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1.5 tsp allspice

1 tsp sugar

1.5 tsp cinnamon

* Combine ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 1-2 hours.  Near serving time, sauté, fry or carmelize 2 sliced yellow onions.  Serve Mjeddera topped with yogurt,onion, lemon, cucumber, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Remake

Start with room temperature Mjeddera leftovers.

Add to it: 2 cups grated carrots, 1 cup crumbled feta, 1/4 cup chopped dates, 1/4 cup pistachios, a chopped green onion, and toss with dressing (see below)

Dressing: combine 1/3 cup olive oil, juice of one lemon, dash salt, 1/2 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Shake and toss with Mjeddera Remake just before serving.  Enjoy!


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