Making Mujadara Special
I just made a HUGE batch of mujadara, which I love. I used Puy lentils, long-grain brown rice, and two large caramelized onions. I spiced it with small amounts of cumin and five spice powder. I made a cucumber mint yogurt sauce to accompany. Here are my questions:
1) What is the difference between cucumber raita and tzatziki?
2) How should I jazz up my leftovers?
3) How would you serve mujadara for a dinner party? I have done it once before with some great olives, homemade hummus, and pita. It's basically a peasant food - so how to make it seem fancy enough for a company dinner?
RE: tzatziki vs raita. They're pretty similar. Indian restaurants in the west usually make raita with cucumber -- so it's very tzatziki-like -- but in India, a raita is any type of raw veg chopped or grated and mixed with yogurt. At my house, we always made it with tomatoes, scallions and cilantro, or with finely grated carrot, ginger and some cumin. I think tzatziki is always made, with cucumber (and garlic, which isn't used in raita that much), and the herbs added are usually mint, dill and/or parsley.
I think you could make a pretty great veggie burger with leftover mujadara.
It might seem bizarre, but my husband loves it with sriracha. I add smoked paprika or powdered chipotle sometimes. I also think it would be great leftover for breakfast accompanying some scrambled eggs.
Agree that the presentation of the other dishes can fancy up your mujadara for a party. I love the stuff myself and would be thrilled to have it at a dinner party! You could always plate it in a mold the way they do rice in some restaurants, not sure how well that'll work though.