January 24, 2021mayurisjikoni
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What is Mujaddara?

Mujaddara is an inexpensive, gluten free, vegan, healthy, flavorful and filling main dish. The main flavour of this rice dish comes from the caramelized onions. It is usually served with a salad and some yogurt, hummus or tahini sauce.

Mujaddara is a lentil and rice preparation or dish that is usually enjoyed as a main meal. Mujaddara in Arabic means “pockmarked” as the pilaf resembles pockmarks. Without meat, it’s considered as a poor man’s meal. Meat was added to the pilaf only during celebrations. Mujaddara is a popular dish all over the Middle East. However, there are variations depending on the area or region. The variations can range from consistency, to grains used and which spices are used. Sometimes rice is replaced by bulgur wheat.


Name Variations for Mujaddara

Don’t be confused if you come across the following names: mujadara, mujadarra, mujadarah, majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra. They all refer to the famous rice and lentil dish.


Cooking Variation of Mujaddara

As lentil cooks pretty fast, some cook the lentil first till a bit done and then add the rice. Some prepare it as a one pot meal. It entirely depends on how you want to prepare it. Soaking the lentils for at least 30 minutes helps as you then can cook both the rice and lentil together. 


Spice Variations

While using caramelized onions is a must for Mujaddara, other spices and herbs vary from region to region and family to family. 


Serving Suggestions

Serve Mujaddara with plain yogurt, spicy yogurt, hummus or tahini. Vegans can use vegan yogurt, hummus or tahini. Also serve with a salad of your choice.


Rice Dishes

Before I go into the recipe for Mujaddara you may want to check out some more rice dishes:


Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday is a group of Food Bloggers who every Sunday share some fun, traditional, hearty or easy recipes to make Sunday Family Meals a bit more exciting. If you’re interested in joining this fun group then visit the Sunday Funday Facebook Page. Request to join in. This Sunday the theme is One Pot Wonders, suggested by Stacy Livingston Rushton. This theme gave me the opportunity to finally prepare a bookmarked recipe. I first came across the recipe for Mujaddara on Mildly Indian, a blog by my blogger friend Seema. While I used her one to one ratio for rice and lentil, the spices  differ a bit.

Check out More One Pot Wonders By Fellow Bloggers:


Ingredients Required for Mujaddara – Rice & Lentil Pilaf

  • Rice – use any long grain, non sticky rice. I’ve used basmati. You can use brown rice instead of white.
  • Lentils – also known as Puy Lentils, masoor. Use any that is available in your area, green, brown, black or red. To prepare Mujaddara as a one pot meal, soak the lentils in warm water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Onions – I’ve used white. Use of that you get, red or yellow. Caramelize the onions over low heat and stirring frequently. You don’t want burnt but soft onions. Adding a bit of salt helps to quicken the process.
  • Garlic – peeled and minced or chopped finely
  • Olive Oil 
  • Water or Vegetable Stock
  • Cumin Seeds – jeera
  • Cumin Powder
  • Coriander Powder
  • Clove Powder
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Salt
  • Mint – I’ve used mint for garnishing. Can also use flat parsley or fresh coriander(cilantro).

Dietary Tips:

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian



Mujaddara is an inexpensive, gluten free, vegan, healthy, flavorful and filling main dish. The main flavour of this rice dish comes from the caramelized onions. It is usually served with a salad and some yogurt, hummus or tahini sauce.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4


  • ½ cup rice
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 2 large white onions (approx. 200g)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • cups water or vegetable stock
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ -1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • Wash the lentils in a sieve under running water.
  • Soak the lentils in enough warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Wash the rice and soak it in the measured water or vegetable stock.
  • Peel and cut the onions into thin vertical slices.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced onions and ¼ tsp salt from the measured amount. Lower the heat.
  • Allow the onions to become brown or caramelize. Make sure you stir the onions frequently so that they brown evenly. This will take about 10 minutes.
  • When the onions have caramelized, use a slotted spoon and remove half of them. Set it aside for topping.
  • To the remaining onion in the pan add garlic and cumin seeds. Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Drain the water out from the lentils if there is any. Add the lentils to the caramelized onions in the pan.
  • Add rice along with the stock or water.
  • Add the spices and salt.
  • Mix well. Increase the heat to medium.
  • Cover the pan and allow the rice and lentil to cook for 25 -30 minutes or until both are cooked.
  • Garnish the rice with the caramelized onion that was set aside and some mint leaves.
  • Serve with some yogurt and salad.


  • If you have not soaked the lentils then cook them first for 20 minutes. Then add the rice.
  • Caramelize the onions properly as the main flavour is from that.
  • Garnish with fresh mint, flat parsley or coriander/cilantro.
  • Can use brown rice. However, cooking time will increase.
  • Serve Mujaddara with yogurt, hummus or tahini and a salad.
Keyword Mujaddara Recipe, Mujaddara, Rice & Lentil Pilaf

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If you do try this recipe then please either

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  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962

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  • Wendy Klik

    January 24, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Mujaddara is one of my all time favorites. Those soft lentils and crispy onions are so good. Love that you added some pomegranate arils for color.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 24, 2021 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much Wendy, I added them for colour but they added a nice slightly tangy taste.

  • Sneha Datar

    January 24, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Love this flavorful rice.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 24, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Sneha.

  • Camilla M. Mann

    January 24, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    We love this dish. I can’t wait to try your version. Thanks for joining in the Sunday Funday party.

  • Chicken and Pork Curry –

    January 24, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    […] Mujaddara from Mayuri’s Jikoni […]

  • Stacy

    January 24, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    What a tasty vegetarian recipe! It reminds me of one of our favorite Egyptian dishes called koshary. Can’t wait to give this a try!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 27, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you so much Stacy and I will have to check out koshary.

  • Sue Lau

    January 25, 2021 at 12:05 am

    This is a favorite of mine as well. It makes a great filling for a wrap using flatbread. Perfect for lunch.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 25, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Sue, that’s a wonderful idea. Would never have thought of using it as a wrap filling.

  • Karen

    January 25, 2021 at 2:00 am

    This is so pretty with the ruby arils! I really enjoyed reading about mujaddara, a dish I hadn’t heard of before! It sounds delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 25, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you Karen, perhaps you’ll try it as it can be served with any meat dish.

  • Colleen – Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

    January 25, 2021 at 4:59 am

    Now this is my type of rice! I’m so glad I have all of the ingredients to make it too!!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 25, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Colleen and enjoy when you make it.

  • Rebekah Hills

    January 25, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    This looks wonderfully hearty, flavorful, and filling! Perfect 1-pot meal!

  • Renu

    January 26, 2021 at 2:14 am

    5 stars
    That looks so good, the rice is so perfectly done. Love that it has both lentils and rice in one, a complete balance of proteins and carbs

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 26, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you so much Renu and the main flavour is from the caramelized onions. Totally agree, its a good balance of carb and protein. However one can always use more lentils than the rice.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    January 26, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    5 stars
    This is a filling and lovely dish. I am always looking for some kind of one pot dish, will try this one. Something different for me, looks tasty.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 26, 2021 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree and do try it.

  • Preethicuisine

    January 26, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    5 stars
    Mujaddara is a complete nutritious meal. Love the flavours of this rice and
    Lentil pilaf. Beautifully presented.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 26, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi.

  • Marita

    January 26, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    5 stars
    Oh I love mujaddara, I made it the first time a couple of months ago. It was delicious. I will try your recipe next. x


    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 27, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you so much Marita. I too made it for the first time and my family loved it.

  • Swati

    January 27, 2021 at 7:53 am

    5 stars
    This is such an easy peasy and so nutritious one pot meal.. love such dishes for lazy weekdays when I don’t want to put an elaborate meal on table but feed something healthy to my family.. surely going to try soon..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 27, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you so much. Enjoy when you try out Mujaddara.

      1. Bless my food by Payal

        February 8, 2021 at 6:12 pm

        5 stars
        When I read the name, I was of the opinion that it must be very tedious recipe with complicated ingredients but OMG, this is simple recipe with basic ingredients. Really a worth trying recipe.

      2. mayurisjikoni

        February 8, 2021 at 10:05 pm

        Thank you. Its definitely worth trying out the mujaddara, its so simple and flavorful. However, if you love hot chilly food, then you’ll have to add some on top.

  • Maria

    January 29, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    5 stars
    I’m a huge fan of one pot meals! They are lifesavers on busy days and who doesn’t like one less pot to wash! The rice and lentils combo is a match made in heaven. But the generous use of caramelised onions is my most favourite part of the recipe!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 29, 2021 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you Maria. I keep these kind of dishes for Sundays, as not only are they easy to prepare but as you said, less washing up to tackle.

  • Archana

    February 2, 2021 at 9:48 am

    5 stars
    Mujaddara sounds so easy and looks so beautiful! I do not know why I have kept postponing making it. Looks like I was waiting for a good inspiration! Love the Mujaddara I can definitely make this easy peasy recipe one evening.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 2, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Archana, I too had it bookmarked for a long time and finally made thrice in a short span!

  • Uma Srinivas

    February 3, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    5 stars
    A good read about mujaddara! I love to add lentils to my rice recipe. This sounds a perfect recipe for me and my family.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 5, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you so much Uma. Please do try the recipe as its so easy and filling too.

  • Kalyani

    February 4, 2021 at 6:59 am

    5 stars
    One pot meals especially flavourful packed like these are a treat to make , easy to clean and feed a crowd… btw, that Sunday funday group sounds like fun, will check out on fb

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 5, 2021 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks Kalyani. Mujaddara can definitely be prepared for a large crowd.

  • Lata Lala

    February 5, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    5 stars
    Mujaddara, the combination of lentils, rice along with caramelized onions sounds so interesting.
    I am sure this will tastes best with any raita and some salad on the side.
    Lovely share Mayuri.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 5, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you so much Lata, if its not served with some yogurt than it is served with tahini or hummus too.

  • Poonam bachhav

    February 6, 2021 at 7:43 am

    5 stars
    With lentils and rice going in, Mujaddara sounds a healthy and filling meal to me. Just love such flavorful one-pot meals. Would surely give your version a try.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 8, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam. Please do try this easy to make and yet filling one pot meal.

  • Seema Sriram

    February 6, 2021 at 8:01 am

    5 stars
    One of my favorite winter recipes is mujaddhara. I absolutely love the carmelised onions on top and the subtle hint of spices. I am so glad to see the freshness of the salad on its side in the images as that makes up for the slight heaviness of this recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 8, 2021 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you so much Seema. The salad does add the required greens as the rice doesn’t have any.

  • Padma Veeranki

    February 9, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    5 stars
    I am always on the lookout for flavourful one pot meals, will have to definitely try this one. The rice and lentils combo is always a hit. This is very healthy, filling and it sounds interesting.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you Padma. Please do try the rice as its very tasty and easy to make.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    February 11, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    5 stars
    I first tasted something similar to this in one of our local Middle Eastern restaurant in NY. It was called Koshari and the base was the same but had a spicy tomato sauce drizzled on top. The caramelized onion in the recipe makes all the difference and my boys ask me to double the caramelized onions. Looks so delicious and I am now tempted to make some.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 11, 2021 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you so much Sandhya. I’m definitely going to check out the recipe for Koshari. Sounds really yummy with a spicy tomato sauce.

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