Middle Eastern Lentils & Rice

This lentils and rice dish is called ‘Mujadara’ in Arabic. Its a dish that is very well known in other Arabic countries and is such a simple yet delicious staple to cook. We’ve had this dish since I was young and quite often my mother would cook this for lunch or dinner for us when she didn’t know what else to make since we all loved it! there are other ways you can eat this dish as well such as with Greek yogurt, cucumbers and garlic combined together to drizzle on top or you can have it made with a salad for some extra crunch. This is can be eaten year around and is enjoyed within my family. The optional fried onion is probably not as optional as you would think, it really completes the dish and add some sweetness and crunch and its definitely the highlight. personally I like this dish with more of the creamy yogurt to have on top and those golden onions, but this dish tastes amazing no matter how you have it!

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Lentils & Rice


  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2.5 cups of rice
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp cumin power
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 7 cups of water

Garden Salad


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon dried, crushed mint
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Optional garnish

  • 1.5 large onions, sliced


  1. Add lentils cumin powder and around 7 cups of water to a pot and allow to boil covered on medium-high heat. Season with salt to taste.
  2. Allow to boil for 10-15 minutes or until slightly soft but not fully cooked.
  3. While the lentils are boiling, wash the rice under running water until it runs clear.
  4. Once the lentils are ready, add in the rice and combine together in the same pot with the lentils. Ensure water is slightly covering the lentil and rice mixture, if not add water to cover.
  5. Put on the lid and simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes
  6. Add diced onion to a quarter cup of olive oil. Fry until golden.
  7. Once rice is cooked, add olive oil and fried diced onions to rice and lentils and mix all together, making sure to combine softly so as to not mush the rice.
  8. Optional garnish: Add sliced onion to a fry pan with olive oil and cook on a medium – high heat until golden brown to add a nice crunch and sweet flavour to the dish.

Method for Salad:

  1. Dice tomatoes, onion, cucumber and parsley and add to a bowl
  2. Sprinkle crushed mint and salt and add lemon juice and olive oil
  3. Combine together before serving
  4. Feel free to add any additional vegetables such as radish, lettuce and spinach of choice.

Recipe supplied by Rasha Abdo, Student Dietitian from University of Wollongong

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