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Mujadara – Lentils & Rice

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1 1/4 cups Brown Lentils rinsed
1 Garlic clove
1/2 cup 1/2 canola 1/2 olive oil
8 medium/large Red onions
1 1/2 cups basmati rice or long grain rice rinsed
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
1 tablespoon cumin seeds ground cumin works too
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
salt and pepper
yogurt to serve

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Mujadara – Lentils & Rice

Mujadara, a middle eastern lentils and rice pilaf has long been the comfort food of choice for us. I should change the title to Lentils, rice and onions because its all about the onions here. The mixture of fragrant crispy and caramelized onions is what really makes this dish.

  • Serves 6
  • Medium


This dish is protein packed, yet meat and dairy free. As a mom I find that protein options seem to be limited for my toddler. His teeth are too fragile to enjoy red meat or crispy chicken. Issa loves this dish, especially with heaps of yogurt piled on top. This makes me so happy because lentils are a highly nutritious plant-based protein. My husband and I like to experiment with condiments on Mujadara; my favourite is hot sauce, it goes great with sriracha and a salad.



  • There is no such thing as too many onions. 8 large onions might sound and look like a lot but they really weigh down after cooking. (if using smaller onions or shallots then use 12 onions)
  • After slicing the onions, place 1/4 in a separate bowl coat with flour and fry in a SMALL pot separately. (This is optional but is really worth it). If skipping this step then only use 1/4 cup of oil and 1 large pot.
  • Pot sizes matter. Use a small pot for frying 1/4 of the onions and a LARGE pot for the remaining onions, lentils, and rice mixture. The rice will double in size it needs the space.

Here is a short video of how I put everything together after cooking the lentils, minus the fried onions:




In a medium sized pot add lentils and garlic clove, cover with water and bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside


While lentils are boiling slice onions, place 1/4 of the sliced onions in a separate mixing bowl and coat with flour (these are for the crispy topping).


Heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium high heat, in a medium/small pan fry flour covered onions until crispy place on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.


In a separate LARGE pot heat the remaining oil to medium heat, place the remaining onions and cook, stirring every now and then until caramelized.


Once onions are browned, add rice, toss and stir for 30 seconds, add lentils, spices and salt and pepper. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.


Reduce heat to low. Cover pot and let cook for 30 minutes or until water is fully absorbed and rice is cooked. Garnish with crispy onions.

Serve with yogurt and salad.

Jude Anabtawi

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