Mujadarah – Rice, lentils and Caramelised Onions

During the Holy Month of Ramadan last year, there was a cookery show on TV which showcased some dishes for Iftar( the meal taken at dusk after the day long fast). The  show had 3 segments – vegetarian dishes, non-vegetarian dishes and desserts. It was there I was introduced to Mujadarah. I made a mental note and forgot all about it subsequently. I came across Mujadarah once again in the July month’s issue of Woman This Month magazine, published in Bahrain. I knew I had to make it this time.

Wikipedia says, Mujaddara is a popular Levantine dish, and may be served on its own or with other vegetables and side dishes: it is equally good hot and cold. This dish is a main staple of the Syrian,LebanesePalestinianJordanian, north Saudi, and Israeli diet today, both in the Middle East and in North America. While once regarded as a poor man’s dish, it is today considered a high-protein, balanced healthy food by many Americans.

I really loved the idea of having a vegetarian , Middle-Eastern and a healthy rice dish in my repertoire. The final product was really yumm.  I  had it hot with Baghara Baingan( a Hyderabadi dish). Though the Baingan was not satisfactory( for me, atleast), my husband loved the combo and relished the dish.

Here’s the recipe;

Source: James Claire in Woman This Month


3 big onions , thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, (I used olive oil)

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup of green lentils

1 and 1/2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes

3 cups of water

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

salt, to taste

parsley to garnish( I had run out of parsley)


  1. Heat oil  and butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook until they are golden and caramelized. Remember to stir often.
  2. When the onions are ready, remove a small portion for garnish. Add teh garlic and the spices to the remaining onions and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add water and deglaze the pan, scraping of all the browned bits.
  4. Add lentils and bring to a boil. Cover and simmmer for 15 mts.
  5. Add rice, bring back to boil and stir to combine the ingredients. Cover pan and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and let it stand for 15 mts before serving.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley and reserved caramelised onions and serve
After step 3, I transferred the onions alongwith water, lentils and  rice
to pressure cooker and cooked for 3 whistles. It still came out great.



3 thoughts on “Mujadarah – Rice, lentils and Caramelised Onions

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