Mujadara- Lebanese Rice Pilaf

10 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Sometimes you just need a good cry. And when you do, this is the dish to make. It starts with a 3lb bag of onions. Between slicing, sweating, chopping, and carmelizing, you will get out any tears that may be pent up.

Mujudara is a Lebanese dish made from these aforementioned tear-inducing onions, rice, lentils, and spices. This dish is so simple that you would expect it to be boring. Not in the least! It’s actually one of my go-to Lebanese comfort foods. I even brought it to a potluck with great results. One of the best things is that it’s wheat and dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and corn/soy/nut free. Anyone can eat it, and they will love it.


Makes 6 servings

  • 3 pounds (or about 5 medium) white onions, sliced moderately thin (reserve 1/2 onion)
  • 2 TB butter (substitute 2 TB oil  if doing dairy free)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • splash of vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils (not french lentils!)
  • 2 cups long grain white or brown rice
  • 1/2 tp ground cinammon
  • 1/2 tp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • flat leaf parsley for serving


Melt the butter, oil, and 1 tp salt in a large pan, and add the onions.

Cook on medium-low and stir occasionally until very soft, about 45 minutes. Yes, it’s a long time and yes it’s worth it. You need a good cry, remember?

Turn heat to medium high and keep cooking and stirring often until deeply browned and sweet, another 20 minutes or so. Deglaze the pan with a splash of vinegar and mix into the onions. After the onions are completely cooked, you will only have about 2 cups of the most delicious carmelized onions you’ve ever had. Totally worth it.

In a separate pot, add 1 TB of oil and the remaining 1/2 onion (chopped) and cook over medium high until onion is browned.

Add lentils, water, and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, add rice and cover/simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Important note: If you are using brown rice, you need to add this when you add the lentils so that the rice cooks for 40 minutes.

When everything is cooked, fold the onions into the lentil and rice mixture. Add your spices.

Adjust the seasonings and top with chopped parsley. You may choose to serve this with labneh (yogurt sauce, similar to sour cream). Stay tuned for a great recipe for Labneh! Enjoy this trip to the Middle East and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!


5 Responses to “Mujadara- Lebanese Rice Pilaf”

  1. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods February 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM #

    Looks delish! I’m jealous of your enamel pot which looks like something Le Creuset. Can’t wait for new cookware!

  2. D. Dudley February 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM #

    I want to make this dish tonight!!

  3. Maryna February 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM #

    My hubby said it was MAGIC! ))) Thanks L!

  4. Phil July 8, 2011 at 12:57 PM #

    The recipe does not say how much water to ad. Could someone advise please

    • thegreengourmets July 8, 2011 at 3:35 PM #

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for catching that. I believe I used about 6 cups of water. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: