EVENT: SUNDAY FUNDAY
THEME: ONE POT WONDERS
RECIPE: MUJADDARA – LENTIL & RICE PILAF
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.
While using caramelized onions is a must for Mujaddara, other spices and herbs vary from region to region and family to family.
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.
Before I go into the recipe for Mujaddara you may want to check out some more rice dishes:
- Vangi Bath/ Eggplant Rice
- Buckwheat and Brown Rice Khichdi
- Mexican Rice
- Beetroot Rice
- Spinach Rice
- Lemon Rice
- Kabuli Chana/ Chickpea Biryani
- Kala Chana Pulao/ Brown Chickpea Pulao
- Mushroom Egg Fried Rice
- Egg Biryani
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:
- Arroz Caldo from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Chicken Pot Pie Stew from Making Miracles
- Indian-spiced Pork Chop Potato Skillet from Food Lust People Love
- Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Malaysian-Inspired Chicken and Pork Curry from Palatable Pastime
- Mujaddara from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- One-Pot Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup with Thyme from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Shakshuka from Sneha’s Recipe
- Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
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
- Mint – I’ve used mint for garnishing. Can also use flat parsley or fresh coriander(cilantro).
- Gluten Free
MUJADDARA - RICE & LENTIL PILAF
- ½ cup rice
- ½ cup lentils
- 2 large white onions (approx. 200g)
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
- 2½ 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.
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