Mujadara is a simple Lebanese lentil and rice dish with crispy onions that's packed with flavor. This lentils and rice recipe calls for a few ingredients and is very easy to make.
If you love Mediterranean recipes, you know we have a great collection of them here on the blog. This Lebanese lentil and rice, just like Lebanese Rice with Vermicelli is going to be one of your favorites. It's very easy, yet amazingly delicious! You can serve it alongside chicken shawarma or shish tawook.
What is mujadara?
Mujadara, also known as mujaddara, , mujadarah, mejadra, and moujadara, is a lentil and rice dish of Levant origin. One of the first mujadara recipes included rice, lentils and meat and was found in Iraq. Mujaddara used to be served as a celebration dish but without meat it was considered a meal for poor people.
What goes into Mujaddara?
Just like Persian lentil and rice, the ingredients for a mujadara recipe are pretty basic: Rice, lentils, spices and onion. Simple and approachable ingredients that don't look like much and I love how these few ingredients result in such fragrant Lebanese dish that's bursting with flavor. An authentic mujadara recipe calls for cinnamon and cumin and that's what we have used here.
What kind of lentils should I use for Lebanese lentils and rice?
Traditionally, you need dark brown lentils which are a bit difficult to find in regular supermarkets. These special brown lentils are available on Amazon or at Middle Eastern shops. Here I used regular green lentils that you can find in every supermarket. It's not very authentic, but it does the job.
How do you make Lebanese lentil and rice
To make mujadara, start with caramelizing the onions in a pan over medium heat until they are brown and golden. Caramelized onions are what bring so much flavor to this lentil and rice recipe. The key is to caramelize the onions on medium heat and keep a close eye at them. You don't want them to be super soft and mushy, you want them to keep their shape yet be all golden and brown. We will top our mujadara rice with this caramelized onion.
Now for the Lebanese lentil and rice: Saute one chopped onion in some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the onion is golden, add in lentils and give it a nice stir for about two minutes. Next, add in the rice and cook for about a minute. Season with cumin, cinnamon and salt and then add water.
Bring to simmer and then cover and cook until lentils and rice are fully cooked. If the water is completely absorbed but the rice and lentils are not fully cooked, add ⅛ cup more water and cook for some more minutes.
You can serve mujaddara warm or at room temperature. Mujadara is a simple vegan lentil and rice recipe that's always delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Can I make mujadara recipe with other types of rice?
You sure can. Mujaddara is typically made with long grain rice such as basmati rice in here but you can use jasmine or even brown rice. However, you should modify the cooking time according to the rice.
What to serve with Lebanese lentils and rice
Mujadara is a full meal on its own and it would go so well with a bowl of yogurt or fresh salad such as fattoush or salad shirazi. You can also serve mujaddara with some grilled chicken, lamb or beef. This vegan lentil rice dish makes a great side dish for beef shish kabob or chicken shish kabob.
Can I make this lentil rice recipe in advance?
Absolutely! You can make mujaddara ahead of time and simply heat it right before serving. However, I strongly suggest you make the caramelized onion fresh as it will taste so much better. You can make the caramelized onion as the rice is heating.
Can I freeze mujadara?
Rice and lentil freezes so well. Therefore you can make a big batch and use some for your meal prep and freeze the rest. Simply transfer mujadara into freezer safe containers and freeze for up to three months. To serve, you can either use a microwave or transfer the rice to a small pot and add ⅓ cup water, cover and heat over medium low until warm and heated through.
This easy vegan recipe with lentils and rice will amaze you by how simple yet outstanding it is. Once you give it a try, you will always go back for seconds and thirds!
Looking for more lentil recipes?
- Mediterranean green lentil soup
- Chicken lentil soup
- Mediterranean lentil salad
- Instant pot lentil soup
- Vegan lentil meatballs
Mujadara Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Crispy Onions
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 ½ cup lentils
- 1 ½ cup long grain rice
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Heat olive oil over in a pan over medium heat. Cook onions until brown and golden. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute onion until golden brown.
- Add in lentils and cook for two to three minutes.
- Add rice, cumin and cinnamon to the lentils. Stir well so everything is completely combined.
- Pour water into the pot with salt, bring to simmer and let it cook for about 30-40 minutes until the lentil and rice is completely cooked.
- Mix the lentils and rice with caramelized onion and serve with plain yogurt and salad.
- You can use jasmine or brown rice for Mujadara recipe but cooking time will be different.
- Check the rice after 30 minutes and if it's not cooked, add ¼ cup more water.