Mujaddara - Spiced Lentils and Rice

Fall inspired warm spiced vegetarian dinner of savory and spiced Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with fried onions and pine nuts.

Mujaddara - Spiced lentils and rice prepared with long grain Basmati Rice, Brown Lentils, and warm spices which make this vegetarian meal rich, protein-packed, and delicious. With crunch of toasted pine nuts, sweetness of black currents, and traditional crunchy fried onions.. this comforting rice and lentils meal make perfect cozy and healthy, fall-inspired Monday dinner.

Other than the flavor and kitchen full of aroma of spices, my favorite about making mujadara for dinner is: simple and easy preparation. There is no fancy sauce preparations or no over-perching on stove. I simply make mujaddara in three steps: 

1) Boil Lentils2) Fry onion, wipe clean the pot, saute spices.3) add everything and cook until ready.

Really, an almost one-pot meal, and so flavorful.. can't be easier than this!

Mujaddara, or Mujadara, translates to a middle eastern staple Rice and Lentil preparation which is everyday staple in every Lebanese home. My first introduction to Mujaddara or I should say, Lebanese Lentils and Rice, was through a colleague how br...

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4-6 Servings Serves: 4
Notes: No. of servings depends on serving size.

Ingredients

    Lentils and Rice

  • 1 Cup Rice (long grain rice such as Basmati)
  • 1 Cup Brown Lentils (or Green Lentils)
  • 4 Garlic (cloves, thin sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder (seeds, toasted and ground)
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt (adjust per taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 tbsp Cilantro (fresh leaves, chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts (toasted)
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins (or currants)
  • Fried Onion (garnish)

  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Shallot Onions (thin sliced, slices of 2 and 1 divided)

Directions

  • 1. Wash lentils under cold running water. Add to a pot with 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 17-20 minutes or until lentils are tender but still holding shape. Once done, drain and set aside.
  • 2. For *Fried Onions: In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil for frying. In a bowl mix in AP flour with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Thin slice 2 shallot onions. Dredge onions in flour. Shake-off excess flour, and fry onions until brown and crispy. Remove on a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
  • 3. Once onions are fried. Heat fresh 2 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add remaining sliced shallot onion and saute until onions are soft. Add sliced garlic and all spices and saute for 30 more seconds.
  • 4. Mix in washed rice and toast rice with spices for 2 minutes.
  • 5. Now, add cooked (and drained) lentils, 2 cups of fresh water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Taste water and adjust salt. (check **tip in notes) I end up adding 1/2 teaspoon more salt.
  • 6. Bring to boil, then simmer covered on medium heat for 10 -12 minutes or until rice are fully cooked and have absorbed all of the water. Leave covered for 5 minutes. Open, fold in chopped cilantro, toasted pine nuts, and raisins ( or current if using). Serve warm with side of yogurt or chutney. Enjoy!

Savita's Notes:

*I normally don't reach for fryer for frying these onions. I heat 3-4 tablespoon oil in same pot in which I'll later cook Mujadarra. Thin sliced dredged onions don't need much oil, will quick very fast, and will be crispy.

**Tip to Season Rice Perfectly Every TimeTo make sure rice are seasoned well every time.. Once water is mixed in... Taste a little bit of water to check for salt. Salt should taste little sharp than you normally eat. The extra sharpness is absorbed by rice and overall seasoning is always spot on.

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