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