A bold confession to the world and, the directness of which, will startle my husband; I LOVE lentils. This affair began many years ago, even before Puy became fashionable but unfortunately, nobody else in my household appreciates this passion; not one little bit at all. Clear communication is vital to any healthy relationship so I shall take this opportunity to clearly describe this pleasure, leaving no stone unturned – a satisfying chewy nuttiness followed by a peppery kick… come on guys, they are DELICIOUS!

Mujadara is a Lebanese dish of lentils, rice and sautéed onion though garlic and herbs make a welcome addition too. Lentils provide protein, so this dish may simply be accompanies by flat bread, a crisp salad and labneh though I prefer to add grated, strained cucumber and mint which makes labneh (a Greek-style thick yogurt) into a refreshing tzatsiki.

The onions need to be caramelised; sautéed over a low to medium heat until they turn a dark caramel-brown but, without burning. They will be meltingly tender and add a sweetness to balance the peppery lentils. Traditionally, the dish is garnished with onion but, can be forked along with chopped fresh herbs and lemon zest, through the mixture.

Variations of the recipe include the addition of cumin and cinnamon, cooking the caramelised onions and rice together, and replacing the rice with cracked wheat. As with any traditional dish, each family will have their preferred method and it is fun to experiment to find one that suits you best. I rather like to sprinkle with lemon juice and if served cold, a little olive oil too though this is completely personal preference.

Quantities can be adjusted to however many require to be fed and I always like to make extra so that there will be leftovers for a quick lunch. Simply combine a selection of cooked ingredients together – a cup of brown/Puy lentils, a cup of cooked rice, caramalised onions, herbs and any other flavourings to taste, perhaps such as zatar.

Warm or cold, Mujadara is a tasty dish in its own right but, makes an interesting accompaniment in place of rice, pasta or potatoes.