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Mujadara (A Middle Eastern Rice & Lentil dish topped with caramelized onions)

mujadara rice and lentil dish topped with caramelized onions in a bowl topped with a tomato hot sauce

Mujadara is a Middle Eastern staple made often during the cooler seasons as a comforting dinner. This cumin flavored rice and lentil meal is a hearty vegan dish as it is topped with a bountiful of crispy caramelized onions and often served with refreshing salads such as fattoush. My mom always paired it with a fresh tomato salsa along with cucumber yogurt salad which I share both recipes for below. Clearly, this isn’t a fancy meal but that is what makes it a comforting dish. Honestly, the onions are what make mujadara, and of course the choice of rice and lentils.

Since this meal is primarily comprised of 3 simple ingredients; it is important that those components are of the best quality and cooked perfectly. Riceland is my choice of rice for many years. My mom used it and now I do too. Their products can be found in several locations nationwide making it super convenient to purchase. Check out the ‘Where to Buy’ tab on their website to find the nearest location to you that has their products. In this recipe, I used Riceland Food’s long grain parboiled rice which works perfectly for Mujadara. You can even use their basmati for this dish too as they have a great selection of rice.

Cooked Rice and Lentils

Even though, my family has used Riceland products over the years; it wasn’t until recently I learned that a majority of the rice is actually grown by local farmers here in the states who have a share in the company. Meaning when you buy from Riceland, you are actually supporting farmers and their families.

I have a new found love for this meal and I admire it so much more as an adult for its simplicity and its ability to bring comfort and nostalgia from my childhood. I will be making this recipe on repeat this winter and I hope you do too!

Thank you Riceland for sponsoring this post!

Final Dish with Salads
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5 from 2 votes

Mujadara (A Middle Eastern Rice & Lentil dish topped with caramelized onions)

This is a signature Middle Eastern dish often made in the winter season as a staple comfort food. It has cumin seasoned rice and lentils then topped with crispy caramelized onions. Often it is served with a fresh salad or side and in this case, I made two. One is a fresh tomato salsa and the other is a traditional cucumber yogurt salad. I guarantee this vegan meal will become a part of your meal plans after you give it a try!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Comfort food, fufuskitchen, mujadara, rice and lentil dish, riceland, vegan dinner, vegan main course, vegan recipes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Heifa


  • 1 1/2 cups Riceland Long Grain Rice parboiled would be a great option
  • 1 cup Brown, Green, or Black Lentils the red/orange lentils will not work for this recipe
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Seven Spice
  • Salt to taste
  • Water (cooking liquid)

Caramelized Onions

  • 3 Large Yellow Onions, thinly sliced sweet or white or even red will do
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil Vegetable or corn oil works as well
  • Salt

Tomato Salsa

  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 1/2 a Jalapeno take out the seeds for less heat
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Cucumber Yogurt Salad

  • 2 cups Plain yogurt Use Kitehill's almond unsweetened yogurt for a dairy-free alternative
  • 1 tbsp Dried mint
  • 2 minced Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a Fresh lemon's juice
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, chopped use any cucumbers if anything
  • Salt to taste


  • The onions are going to take the longest to cook. Add the cooking oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is hot before adding in the batch of onions. Cook for about 30 minutes until it caramelizes and crisps. Make sure to salt the onions as they cook.
  • While onions are cooking, rinse the lentils then cook in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then a simmer for 10 minutes until they are parboiled. Salt the water.
  • While the lentils cook, soak the rice. This isn't necessary but it will make the cooking time faster. Long grain rice is recommended for this recipe but Basmati is also an option both of which Riceland Foods has.
  • Set the lentils aside once they are 3/4 of the way cooked. Drain the lentils of its liquid if any is left. If there is liquid left, factor that into the cooking liquid for the rice.
  • Drain the rice and season it with the cumin, seven spice, oil, and salt. You will need 3 cups of cooking liquid altogether. Bring to boil then to a simmer for about 15 minutes then add in the lentils that were set aside and mix together for the remaining 5 minutes of cooking the rice.
  • At this point, all the major elements should be cooked.
  • Now, make the sauce and salad to go alongside the dish. For the salsa, just add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times. For the yogurt salad, just mix all the ingredients together.
  • To plate, add the rice and lentils to a platter or plate then top it off with the caramelized crispy onions which can be garnished with some fresh parsley. Serve with the salsa and yogurt salad or a simple fresh salad of choice!

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  1. 5 stars
    Hello and a happy Yule from Australia ! A dear Lebanese girlfriend taught me to make mujadarra some three-four decades ago . . . we used to go Sunday sailing on Sydney Harbour on many summer Sundays and this dish was quite a favourite main one could serve ‘room temp’ when we would anchor is some quiet cove to have the best Sunday meal one could think of. Have not used green or black lentils to make it and do like your salad sides, so as soon as the destructive and scary bushfires surrounding me are drowned out by rain we have not seen for months, this surely will be on the menu to make . . .

  2. 5 stars
    I always think that the Middle Eastern dishes will be hard to make, but Heifa makes them all so tasty & easy to follow. Love this from the main dish to the toppings!

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