Mujadara Recipe | Middle-Eastern Rice, Lentils & Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Kavitha Ramaswamy
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


Mujadara (mujaddara) is an authentic Middle-Eastern dish of lentils and rice garnished with crispy onions. Get recipe for this vegetarian dish here!



  • 1/3 cup Brown Lentils
  • 1/2 cup Long-Grained White Basmati Rice
  • 3 Large Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin (or Black Pepper)
  • 2 Green Chili (optional – not used traditionally)
  • 12 cups Water (adjust as required)


Making Caramelized Onions

  • Slice Onions to thin, long pieces
  • In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil
  • Add the onions & mix. Fry slowly on low flame, stirring regularly to avoid burning
  • The onions will start to sweat after 3-5 minutes on low flame
  • Continue to fry on medium to low flame for 15-30 minutes until the onions start to caramelize and turn crispy brown
  • Add a pinch of salt to flavor the onions, mix well and switch the flame off. Set aside and use as required

Cooking the Rice & Lentils

  • Wash the lentils well. Soak the lentils in water for 30 minutes (or upto overnight). This is optional, but helps speeden the cooking process. Then discard the water.
  • To a large pan with high sides, add the lentils and water (for 1 cup of lentils, use 1.5-3 cups of water). Add the green chilli pieces and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer, cover and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender
  • Meanwhile, rinse the rice well and set aside
  • Remove the water to a container (do not discard them yet). Discard the green chilies.
  • Add the rinsed rice to the lentils. Add the salt, cumin powder and mix well.
  • Now, add 1.5 cups of water (use water from lentils or fresh water) and mix well.
  • Bring to a boil, simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked.
  • Gently fluff up the rice to mix the spices, without breaking them up

Serving the Mujadara

  • Add the cooked rice and lentils to a serving bowl. Garnish with crispy caramelized onions and mint and serve hot!
  • You can also serve this with some fresh yogurt (soy yogurt, if you’re vegan!) and some fresh crunchy salad!

  • Category: Main
  • Method: Skillet Cooking
  • Cuisine: Middle-Eastern (Lebanese)

Keywords: mujadara, mujadarrah, mujadara recipe, middle-eastern pilaf, vegetarian mujadara