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Mujaddara or Mejadra, is an ancient Arab dish, known throughout the middle East, and most likely what Jacob served to Esau. Rather for the second look, this humble dish is the one that truly nourishes you and comforts you. Humble indeed, as the name Mujaddara means “Smallpox”.
It serves the poor and the rich as well, depending on how you dress it. While the simple form is proper for lent, you can also add yogurt and vegetables; the fanciest version (with meat) is served at celebrations.

Although it’s cultural roots are from the deserts, Mujaddara makes a great winter dish in the Northeastern US. No need for fresh veggies, except lots of onions, of course, most likely you’ll find everything in your own pantry, good when fresh food is sparse, like after Hurricane Sandy. Surprisingly juicy and satisfying and using huge amounts of spices. Glad I bought so many onions on the farmer’s market. See recipe

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