I try to have one vegetarian night a week around here, sometimes we have two. Personally, I would do more, but the meatlovers around here bleat. I would make myself a vegie alternative, but know they would want to eat that as well so I would end up making two full meals each night. Too ridiculous, so I stick with the once-or-twice-a-week plan. (I have, though, basically cut out meat at breakfast and lunch, so I keep meat to dinners only).
This week, the family decamped to Brisbane to visit my mother-in-law, so I had four veggo nights. I made tofu and vegie burgers, a vegie curry, and tried out this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian book. She calls it Palestinian Lentils and Rice with crisp fried onions. I call it kushari, as I recognise it as the lentil and rice dish we ate when we travelled around Egypt, and that is what they called it.
How cheap is this dish: lentils, rice, onion, a bit of oil, salt and a pinch of cumin. And yet, very moreish - I'll make this again, definitely.
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup basmati rice
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin.
Cover lentils and rice with water and soak for about an hour.
In a heavy saucepan, fry the onion in oil over medium heat until brown and crisp around the edges - this takes about 10-15 minutes. Lift with a slotted spoon and put onto paper towel.
Drain the rice and lentils. Stir into the oil left over in the saucepan for a few minutes until the rice is coated in oil. Add salt and cumin. Add water and bring to boil. When it boils, cover with a well fitting lid, turn the heat down to its lowest point, and cook for 25 minutes.
Fluff with a fork, and garnish with fried onion.
Feeds 4, I would guess.
P.S> I wouldn't miss out the onion step. It pretty much gives the dish it's flavour.