Sunday, November 13, 2022


Mujadara, a vegan, easy, and comforting meal is made with lentils, rice, and onions. This is a very common meal in Mediterranean countries. This recipe made with pantry staples is budget friendly too.

This is a very simple and humble meal made with lentils, rice, and onions. Lots and lots of onions. The tons of caramelized onions give a characteristic and delicious flavor to this mujadara. This is a peasant meal, but try this once and the comforting flavors of this meal will be perfect for anyone rich or poor. This flavorful mujadara has some flavors that I found similar to Egyptian Kushari, the rice, lentils, and the fried onions along with the cumin flavor. 

We love this Mujadara, for a few reasons. This is tasty and comforting. But this also resembles a couple of our traditional foods and it is kind of calling you home. Pongal (check here for recipes for pongal varieties) or khicdi is a comforting meal made with rice and dal. Split lentils are used, singly or in a mixture. Yellow split dal is used for pongal, toor dal for turmeric/manjal pongal, and one or more varieties used for khichdi. This mujadara is similar, and uses brown or black whole lentils. Whole cumin and pepper powder are used to flavor pongal, powdered cumin and black pepper are used in mujadara. Oil is used in this recipe, and the tons of onions added makes it similar to biriyani or pulao, but a few spices. These reasons make this a more often loved meal here.

With the increasing cost of fresh produce, grains, and spices, we are always on the lookout for foods that are friendly to our purse and provide nutrition at the same time. This mujadara is a perfect example that fits in this category. The lentils provide good proteins, rice gives the carbohydrates to fuel us up, and with simple spices, this will be a perfect and tasty meal that can be repeated often. Try this Lentil Veggie Soup for an easy and comforting meal for the cold season.

This mujadara is easy to make. It takes about 20 minutes to caramelize the onions, and during this time, rice can be soaked, and the lentils can be par-cooked. This helps in bringing this to the table at a shorter time. In about 40-45 minutes, this comforting mujadara would be ready to be devoured.

This recipe uses both the caramelized onions and crispy onions. Do not skip these. These two add tons of flavor. I have used store-bought crispy onions, and help in saving time. If you do not have, fry about one or one and half cup onions in quarter cup oil, until crispy. Use this as a topping. 

When making this, I would recommend par-cooking the lentils. Lentils and rice take different time to cook. Par-cooking the lentils first, and then adding to rice to cook together and absorb all the flavors would give the amazing taste and texture. Both the lentils and rice shouldn't become mushy. I have used Basmati rice, any long grain rice can be used, sticky rice may not work great in this recipe. For the heat, adjust the black pepper to suit your taste palette. For a variation, try using bulgur instead of rice.

This can be a meal by itself. A simple shirazi salad would make this a complete meal. A few pita chips would give a crunch, and it is easy to make a big happy bowl out of this! My kids love to have this with a little tzatziki too. 

Did you know that November 28th is Mediterranean Food Day? Mediterranean region comprises of about 21 countries having shoreline along the Mediterranean sea. They are Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. This region, I would say, is a powerhouse of flavors like my home country. Gear up with the Mediterranean recipes we shared today, in an event hosted by Christie, and enjoy the tasty foods of the region with friends and family on Mediterranean Food Day. Be sure to check the links at the end of the post. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Here are some delicious Mediterranean recipes from the blog.

Serves 4 - 6

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Lentils - 1 cup
Salt - 1 and 3/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Black pepper - 3/4 tsp
Water - 4.5 cups
Oil - 1/4 cup
Onions - 5 cups, thinly sliced
Fried onions -1/2 cup


Soak the rice for 20 minutes.

Heat quarter cup oil in a cast-iron pan, or a Dutch oven. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Stir now and then and cook for about 20 minutes, until the onions turn brown and caramelize. Reserve a quarter cup of this to add at the final step.

In the meantime, add two and a half cups water to washed lentils and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Drain the water from the rice.

Add the remaining two cups water to the onion pot, deglaze, and let it come to a boil.

Add the rice, lentils, salt, pepper, and cumin powder, mix, and bring it to a boil.

Lower the flame to low, cover, and cook for 16-18 minutes. Switch off the flame, and let it rest for 2-3 minutes.

Add the reserved caramelized onions, fluff the rice.


Transfer to a serving bowl, top with fried onions, serve warm.

Mediterranean Recipes. Thanks, Christie.


  1. This sounds delicious. I love lots of onions.

  2. Caramelized onion makes everything tasty!