Eggs are great to flip last night’s dinner into a tasty breakfast. We do this quite often – salsa and guacamole with poached eggs (also Poached eggs, guacamole, quick pickled cabbage) from the previous night’s tacos, poached eggs with tomato sauce from the pizza we had enjoyed, eggs with tabouli or barley salad from that fish dish from last night….
This base of this brekkie recipe is from Jerusalem – Mejadra (lentils, rice, fried onions). The recipe makes a large quantity, and so it is a good one to have for dinner for 2 and then eat the next morning (for 2) with fried eggs on top.
Mejadra with fried eggs
1 1/4 cups/250 g green or brown lentils
4 medium onions (1 1/2 lb/700 g before peeling)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
about 1 cup/250 ml sunflower oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 cup/200 g basmati rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups/350 ml water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The mejadra leftovers
1-2 fried eggs per person
Sourdough bread toasted (if you’re particularly hungry)
1 onion – finely chopped and lightly coated in flour and salt, fried in sunflower oil (if you can be bothered)
To make the mejadra
Place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite. Drain and set aside.
Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.*
Remove the rice from the heat, lift off the lid, and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
*While the rice is cooking on very low heat, peel the onions and slice thinly. Place on a large flat plate, sprinkle with the flour and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well with your hands. Heat the sunflower oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and carefully (it may spit!) add one-third of the sliced onion. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until the onion takes on a nice golden brown color and turns crispy (adjust the temperature so the onion doesn’t fry too quickly and burn). Use the spoon to transfer the onion to a colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt. Do the same with the other two batches of onion; add a little extra oil if needed.
Finally, add half the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork. Pile the mixture in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.
To flip into a breakfast
Heat leftovers in a pan slowly while you are frying eggs to your liking. Pop bread in the toaster at the same time. Serve with freshly, chopped parsley and fried onion (if you could be bothered).