Middle Eastern Lentil Rice Mjadara

This Middle Eastern lentil rice dish is a hearty and healthy meal made with brown lentils, basmati rice, and caramelised onions.
10 minutes
30 minutes

About this recipe

Indulge in the rich flavours rs of Middle Eastern cuisine with this wholesome and delectable recipe for Lentil Rice Mjadara. As a staple in Middle Eastern homes, lentils, much like hummus, are a healthy and protein-rich ingredient that adds a hearty and delicious flavour to any dish.

With brown lentils and basmati rice forming the core of this dish, it is elevated with the addition of crispy onions, yogurt, and a fresh herb salad. Seasoned with cumin and salt, the blend of flavours in this dish is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates. Lentil Rice Mjadara is a comforting classic that requires minimal prep work, making it an excellent option for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Get ready to savour the mouth-watering taste of Middle Eastern cuisine with this irresistible dish.

Additionally, lentils are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and curries. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, making them a popular choice among vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are also packed with nutrients such as iron, folate, and potassium. With their mild and earthy flavour, lentils are a great addition to any meal, and this Lentil Rice Mjadara is no exception.

seeing lentil rice with condiments


  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ½ cups reserved lentil stock (and maybe ¼ extra if required)
  • Salt to season

Notes from Rouba

  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.
  • Cook the lentils until tender but not mushy.
  • Caramelise the onions slowly to develop their sweet flavour.
  • Use the reserved oil from the onions to flavour the rice.
  • Add the sautéed onions and any leftover oil to the lentil rice for added flavour.
  • Benefits of lentils – Read here


Step 1.

Wash the rice under cold water until the colour runs clear. Set aside.

Place the lentils into a medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, now add 1 teaspoon of cumin, and continue to cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy.

This will take approximately 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid from the lentils and set aside.




Step 2.

Meanwhile, slice the two onions into 1 cm wedges and dice the remaining two onions.

Combine the onion wedges and ¾ cup of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and sauté on medium heat. Add a sprinkle of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take approximately 15 minutes.

Set aside (keep in the frying pan) and reserve the oil as this will become your flavour for the remaining steps.

Step 3.

Using 3 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil, heat in a pot over medium heat. Add the rice and stir until well coated with the oil. Season with salt and pour in the reserved lentil stock. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cooked stirring once or twice. 

Step 4.

While the rice is cooking, begin frying the diced onions in the frying pan with the reserved oil. Fry until softened and lightly golden.

Once the rice is cooked, place the drained lentils on top, and combine. Add the sautéed onions along with any oils in the frying pan. Mix well.

Transfer the Lentil Rice Mjadara to a serving dish and top with caramelized onions. Serve hot and enjoy!

Sahtan - Enjoy in Good Health

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One Response

  1. This dish is so delicious and super easy to make! It’s good on its own with yoghurt or with meat on the side. Thanks for sharing.

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I can no longer participate in a day that acknowledges and hears only certain women while ignoring others. International Women’s Day was supposed to be for all women – this is what I was led to believe. Yet, the reality is starkly different. 

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