Simply Lebanese

Lebanese Lentils with Rice (Mujadara)

Mujadara
  • Prep Time
    5 mins
  • Cook Time
    35 mins
  • Serving
    4
This Lentil and Rice pilaf is a Vegan Lebanese dish that is filled with protein and fiber. It's so easy to make and only requires a handful of pantry ingredients.
Mujadara

Lebanese food has a reputation of being a very protein-rich cuisine. The most well-known dishes tend to be protein based, such as shawarma beef and shish tawook, kafta, raw and cooked kibbeh and much more. However, there are actually a large variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Mujadara, a lentil based dish, is one of the most popular ones.

There are many different varieties of mujadara. This dish is a mixture of green lentils and white rice. Some other varieties are Mujadara Safra which is yellow in color and made with orange lentils, a dark red one which gets its color from over-caramelized onions (to the point of almost burnt), as well as many more regional varieties. Lentils are a rich source of protein and fiber, making this dish a wonderful healthy dinner option.

This dish is definitely considered a one-pot meal. I sauté the onions in some olive oil until soft and translucent and set aside. Using the same pot, I boil the lentils for about 10 minutes before adding the washed white rice and sautéed onions. I then season with cumin, salt and pepper and let simmer for 10-15 more minutes on low heat and ta-da, dinner is served!

Mujadara

Growing up, Mujadara was always the dish that me and my siblings would give the biggest sigh of disappointment when we found out that it was for dinner, due to us under appreciating lentils. I wonder if my almost 1-year old daughter will be the same, as I tried to feed it to her last night with some plain yogurt and suffice to say, she was not impressed. Then again, now that me and my siblings are all older, we seem to appreciate it much more, and I am sure my daughter will too. My husband actually loves all the varieties and requests it quite often! This dish is delicious served with a salad, for example Laban w khyar, a simple tomato/cucumber/onion one, or fattoush. Many people like to eat it with pita bread or even plain yogurt. Whether served as a side dish in a big iftar dinner, or as the main course in a healthy lunch, I believe you will find this recipe a delicious healthy option.

STEP 1

Boil the lentils in the 4 cups of water for 10 minutes on medium heat.

STEP 2

While the lentils are cooking, dice the first onion and sauté in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Add the ground cumin and sauté for 1 more minute, set aside. 

Slice the remaining onion into thin slices and sauté in the same pan with a tablespoon of oil on medium-low heat until deep golden brown and caramelized. Stir often to prevent the onions from burning. These will be the onions used to garnish the final dish. 

STEP 3

Wash the rice thoroughly and add to the lentils along with the sautéed diced onion. 

Season with salt and pepper and lower the heat all the way down to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes covered until all the water has been absorbed.

STEP 4

Garnish the Mujadara with the caramelized onions and serve at room temperature with pita bread and a side salad.

Mujadara
Mujadara

Lebanese Lentils with Rice (Mujadara)

This Lentil and Rice pilaf is a Vegan Lebanese dish that is filled with protein and fiber. It's so easy to make and only requires a handful of pantry ingredients.
4.75 from 12 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: Lentils, Mujadara
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 249kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • ½ cup White Rice
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 tb Olive Oil
  • 4 cups Water
  • tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Boil the lentils in the 4 cups of water for 10 minutes on medium heat. 
  • While the lentils are cooking, dice the first onion and sauté in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Add the cumin and sauté for 1 more minute, set aside.
    Slice the remaining onion into thin slices and sauté in the same pan with a tablespoon of oil on medium-low heat until deep golden brown and caramelized. Stir often to prevent the onions from burning. These will be the onions used to garnish the final dish.
  • Wash the rice thoroughly and add to the lentils along with the sautéed diced onion.
    Season with salt and pepper and lower the heat all the way down to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes covered until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Garnish the Mujadara with the caramelized onions and serve at room temperature with pita bread and a side salad. 

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10.5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 3.4g

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Judy

      5 stars
      Excellent! My whole family loved it. I did add a bay leaf to the lentils while they cooked. Next time I will caramelize two onions for the topping. They add an amazing amount of flavor!

      • Iman

        So glad you loved it!!

    • wannabevegan

      5 stars
      I made this. I used 1 cup green lentils to 1 cup basmati rice ratio. It’s absolutely delicious. Will definitely cook this again.

      • Iman

        Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it!!

    • Kate grey

      Contemplating this recipe. However, instructions are confusing. Maybe take a look and re-write clearly.

    • Paul Leddy

      5 stars
      Years ago, my Lebanese neighbor introduced me to her country’s cuisine. I could have married her for that, alone. Alas, her husband was taller, more handsome, and much more stronger than I was.
      My only consolation was my introduction to Lebanese culture, sophistication, beauty, hospitality, and the food!

    • M. Horne

      5 stars
      I was introduced to mujadara by a family owned deli in my neighborhood. I love this dish! Though culturally it is not something that I grew up with, I think it epitomizes comfort food. Warm, savory and filling. Sadly, my neighborhood deli closed, but I made your recipe and got pleasant flashbacks. Thank you Iman!

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