Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes

Mujadara Lentils and Spiced Rice

A plate of mujadara lentils and spiced rice rich in flavors toped with cilantro and onions.

Mujadara Lentils and Spiced Rice is an ultimate comfort dish full of savory flavors and different textures in one mouthful. It is a perfect vegan meal that will satisfy your deepest food cravings.

Take a spoonful and feel the earthy, soft flavor of well-cooked lentils, the delicate texture of spiced rice, and the light sweet crispy onions. Your taste buds will be delighted. Mujadara is a classic Middle Eastern dish that is so good on its own. No wonder it does not need meat next to it. You must give it a try!


Flavorful mujadara made of lentils and rice topped with crispy onions and garnished with chopped parsley.
A simple dish made in one pot!


Mujadara Origin

Mujadara, Moujadara, or Mjadara refers to a classic Middle Eastern dish that uses lentils as the main ingredient. There are many twists and tweaks for Mujadara, and each version will get you different flavors.

The Mujadara Lentils and spiced rice recipe that I will share with you is also called Mujadaret Roz. Check the recipe card for full details.

Red lentils, also called Mijadara Hamra, are another great version. It calls for lentils, coarse bulgur, and tons of caramelized onions that are dark brown, not burnt. The dark onions are what give Mujadara that beautiful dark red, almost dark brown, color.

You can also make Mujadara Safra or Yellow Lentils where you use yellowish lentils, rice, and sautéed onions.

Add some extra water while cooking lentils and spiced rice, and you will get a heartwarming Mujadara Makhbusa, where lentils and rice are so mushy and soft that they melt in your mouth. It is super delicious, savory, and filling.


Spiced rice and lentils to make flavorful mujaddara
A Powerhouse of flavors!

Why You Will Love Mujadara

Mujadara will be your go-to dish whenever you’re in the mood for a meatless meal. It does not include meat, chicken, or fish, yet it is so fulfilling and hearty.

Mujadara has lentils as the main ingredient. They are packed with protein, which makes them a great alternative to meat and a perfect dish for vegetarians and vegans, especially when served with salad.

In addition, mujadara is budget-friendly. It does not require fancy ingredients, only onions, lentils, and rice with some spices from your pantry.

Mujadara comes together in less than an hour and needs minimal effort and one pot to be ready. You can sauté the onions and cook the rice in the same pot where you boiled the lentils.



A layer of spiced lentils and rice to make savory mujaddara with a layer of crispy onions
The perfect dish for your vegan friend!

What You Need

For the lentils

Dry brown lentils

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cumin

7 spice or allspice

Cinnamon

Water for boiling


For the rice

Jasmine rice

Cumin

Coriander powder

Salt

7 spice or allspice

Cinnamon

Olive oil

Veggie bullion powder/stock

Yellow onion

Hot water


A plate of mujadara lentils and spiced rice rich in flavors toped with cilantro and onions.
Simple and delicious

Steps to Prep

First, soak the rice and set it aside.

Next, wash the lentils well. Add them to a pot along with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, 7 spice, and cinnamon. Add enough water to cover them.

Let it come to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until completely soft. It takes around 20-25 minutes.

After that, strain the liquid from the lentils and set them aside.

To a pot, add the olive oil and diced onion then sauté them until golden.

Then, drain the soaked rice and add it to the onions. Add cumin, coriander powder, 7 spices, cinnamon, veggie bullion powder, and salt.

Next, add the strained lentils to the rice and onions and add hot water. Let it come to a rolling boil until the water touches the surface of the rice, then cover it with aluminum foil and the lid at the same time.

Cook mujadara at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Serve it with crispy onions on top next to salad or yogurt.


How to Make Perfect Caramelized Onions for the Topping

The best part about Mujadara is the caramelized onions. Though it seems a bit daunting, you can never go wrong with it.

First, slice the onions into medium strips, then place them in a large saucepan with a wide base with a generous amount of oil. Start at high heat until you hear loud sizzles, then reduce it to medium-low and keep stirring every 1-2 minutes until they become dark brown, but not burnt.

Here’s a trick you can try! Right before you turn off the heat, add a sprinkle of flour, give it a stir for a minute, then turn it off. You will get to enjoy super crispy caramelized onions in every spoonful.




Mujadara, a Middle Eastern dish that combines earthy lentils, fragrant spiced rice, and caramelized onions.
A classic that never disappoints

Pro Tips

Don’t boil lentils more than you should, or else they will become too soft. You want lentil seeds to stay intact and whole for a good presentation.

You can use brown or green lentils for this mujaddara. Don’t use yellow or red since they get too mushy when cooked.

I used Jasmin rice, but you can use any type of rice you prefer. Whether you use long rice, short rice, or brown rice, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Serve rice mujadara with pita bread next to yogurt, salad, Fattoush, or Shirazi salad.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mujadara vegetarian?

Yes, Mujadara is typically vegetarian as it consists of lentils, rice, and onions. However, some variations may include meat or meat-based broth, so it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients.

Should I soak lentils before cooking them?

There is no need. You only need to wash them. They will be well-cooked in 20-25 minutes.

Can I customize Mujadara with additional ingredients?

Yes, Mujadara is highly customizable. You can add vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, or spinach for extra flavor and nutrition. You can also adjust the spices according to your taste preferences.


Spiced lentils and rice cooked to perfection with crispy onions
How beautiful!

Must Try Recipes:

Lentil Soup (Shorbet Adas)

Rashta (Irkak o Adas)

Middle-Eastern Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Mulukhiyah Stew (Jute Mallow Stew)

Middle-Eastern Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegetarian Loaded Eggplant

Easy Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Juicy Chicken Kofta Kebabs

Palestinian Cauliflower Fritters (Emshat)

Traditional Palestinian Musakhan Recipe


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.


A bowl of mujadara made up of lentils and spiced rice, garnished with fresh parsley and crispy onions.

Mujadara Lentils and Spiced Rice

Fatimah
Mujadara Lentils and Spiced Rice is a classic Middle Eastern recipe made of simple ingredients and minimal effort. A perfect vegan dish with tons of flavors and textures!
5 from 5 votes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Calories 1542 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the lentils

  • ¾ cup dry brown lentils rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon 7 spice or allspice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 5 cups water for boiling

For the lentils

  • cups jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spice all spice
  • dash cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoons veggie bullion powder stock
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 3 cups hot water

Instructions
 

  • Soak the rice and set it aside.
  • Wash the lentils well. Add them to a pot along with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, 7 spice, and cinnamon. Add enough water to cover them.
  • Let it come to a rolling boil, then simmer on medium heat until completely soft. It needs around 20-25 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid and set lentils aside.
  • To a pot, add the olive oil, diced onion and sauté until golden.
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it to the onions. Next, add cumin, coriander powder, 7 spice, cinnamon, veggie bullion powder, and salt.
  • Add the strained lentils to the rice and onions, then add the hot water. Let it come to a rolling boil until the water touches the surface of the rice, then cover it with aluminum foil and the lid at the same time.
  • Cook mujadara at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Serve it with crispy onions and salad or yogurt.

Notes

  • Don’t boil lentils more than you should, or else they will become too soft. You want lentil seeds to stay intact and whole for a good presentation.
  • You can use brown or green lentils for this mujaddara. Don’t choose yellow or red since they get too mushy when cooked.
  • You can use any type of rice you prefer. Whether you use long rice, short rice, or brown rice, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Serve rice mujadara with pita bread next to yogurt, salad, Fattoush, or Shirazi salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 1542kcalCarbohydrates: 228gProtein: 21gFat: 59gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 42gSodium: 2456mgPotassium: 485mgFiber: 6gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 928IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 172mgIron: 6mg
Keyword mojadaret roz, mujaddara, rice mujadara, spiced rice and lentils
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Mujadara Lentils and Spiced Rice

  1. Yara says:

    5 stars
    I followed this recipe to a T and my love enjoyed it very much. He had two plates full and even started eating it from the pot. Thank you very much for sharing and allowing me to give him taste of his home here in US. 🙏🏻

    1. Candice says:

      5 stars
      My husband isn’t that big on mujadara but I made this and he looooveed it!!! Best version you’ll try 🤤🤤🤤

  2. Ejlal Nasser says:

    5 stars
    My husband never tell me to remake a meal but this recipe is his favorite thanks for the recipe

  3. Jeisse says:

    5 stars
    My toddler loves it!

  4. Karen says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic. My kids loved it

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