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Hoppin Hassan (Hoppin John's Cousin From Lebanon)

Happy New Year to all you wonderful people who read this blog. I made a special recipe for you to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever. Southern Italians eat lentils for good luck in the new year (my mother will call me at some point today to make sure I’m eating lentil soup) and American Southerners eat Hoppin John, a rice a beans dish for luck. 

What if I kinda sorta combined the two and made the ultimate rice and lentil dish: Majadera. That would make for the luckiest year ever.

Just do me one favor: don’t share this with your friends that don’t read this blog. They deserve a rotten year for not being part of Team TYOS.


¾ C olive oil (not extra virgin, use the cheap, slutty kind)

3 huge onions, thinly sliced

Punch (not a pinch) of salt

I T Turmeric

2 C Lentils (Black or French, just not red)

3 T Ground Cumin (It sounds like a lot, and it is, but trust me)

2 t pepper (If you can used Urfa or a smoked pepper, even better)

7 C veg broth

2 C Basmati rice

4 C water

Green Olives

Pomegranate Seeds


  1. Pour the oil into your biggest soup pot. Get it hot and throw in the onions, salt and turmeric. Stir to coat the onions with the oil. Keep the heat on medium. Now, you’re going to fry the onions until they become milk chocolate brown. They key to this is not stirring too much. Let them fry for 10 minutes, then stir once to see where you are. Let the fry for another to, give a stir. 10 more minutes (undisturbed) should get your onions where you want them.

  2. Add the lentils, cumin and pepper to the onions and fry for a minute. It should smell awesome in your kitchen. 

  3. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour (you want tender lentils, not mushy or rock hard)

  4. In a medium pot combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. 

  5. Add the rice to the pot of cooked lentils and stir. Taste and adjust for seasoning. 

  6. Stick some olives and pomegranate seeds on top to make it look pretty.

  7. Happy New Year

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© 2018 Eddie McNamara