Monday, September 25, 2017


Mujadara is a real comfort food, Middle Eastern way! As an extra bonus, it is also very healthy choice, great take-to-work lunch idea and kids friendly.

Blog's Category: Healthy, International, Kid's Favorite, Pilafs, Side Dish, Vegetarian

- Mujadara, sometimes spelled as mujaddara, is a popular vegetarian dish from Middle East. 

- Key ingredients for mujadara are rice, lentils and fried onion.

- It can be used as a great side for grilled meat or as a stand alone, pretty filling, vegetarian meal.

- Some cooked vegetables can be mixed in Mujadara, such as carrots, celery, bell peppers or hot chili pepper. But Mujadara is the best served with diced fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and maybe some fresh cilantro on top. Today I topped mujadara with fresh cilantro and served yellow tomato salad on a side. Also a cup of cold buttermilk on a side is a great addition to your mujadara meal.

- Plain brown or green lentils are the best for mujadara. French green lentils, or black beluga lentils (which I actually have used this time for my mujadara) are not the best just because they will make mujadara sort of dry.

- Basmati rice is preferable for mujadara. Although I often use jasmine rice, just try not to overcook it, add less water than usually.

- You can change measures depending on you liking more rice, or more lentils. I like my mujadara with a lot of lentils :) Yes, and a lot of onion too!


  • 2 cups of cooked lentils (not overcooked, they should more or less keep their shape)
  • 2 cups of cooked rice (leftovers are perfect for this recipe)
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (optional, but highly desirable)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like spicy food)
  • salt to taste
As a garnish use all or any of these:
  • fresh chopped tomato
  • fresh chopped cucumber
  • fresh chopped onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • unsweetened yogurt or buttermilk
  • chopped pickles or pickled jalapeno
- In a large skillet/pan heat oil. Add cumin seeds and black pepper and stir fry for about half of a minute until fragrant.

- Add onion. Cook until golden. Set a half of cooked onion aside to use it as topping. Add rice, lentils, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- Taste, add some salt if needed. Serve hot or warm, topped with fried onion and fresh vegetables. Enjoy!

In Pictures

Don't forget to rinse lentils. Here I used black lentils which keep their shape wonderfully but made my mujadara somewhat dry. No worry though.. salad on a side, extra onions on top, cup of yogurt solved this problem easily.

Cumin and pepper will sizzle nicely in an a hot oil. Don't burn them. A few seconds may be enough before adding onions.

Don't forget to set aside some cooked onions for garnishing.

Cilantro is optional. You can mix it in at the end or just use it as a garnish.