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Mujadara recipe: close-up of mujadara (brown rice and lentils with fried onions) on a white plate with yogurt

Mujadara Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)
  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


This mujadara recipe is a classic Middle Eastern dish of cumin-scented brown rice and lentils with caramelized onions and garlicky yogurt.



For the Mujadara

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup green lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed
  • 2 ¾ cups boiling water, plus more if needed
  • 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped (you can also use almonds)
  • A handful of golden raisins or dried currants (optional)

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup unsweetened yogurt (vegan or dairy)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A handful of fresh herbs (like mint, basil, or parsley), torn
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt


  1. Place the rinsed rice in a medium pot over medium heat and toast until completely dry, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, the cumin seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and toast until the rice smells nutty, 30 seconds more. Add the lentils and water (careful, it may sputter), cover tightly with a lid, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. (DO NOT STIR the mixture while it is simmering, otherwise it will become mushy.)
  2. When the water is gone, taste the rice and lentils and make sure they’re cooked through; if not, add a bit more boiling water and continue cooking. When it’s done cooking, turn the heat off (no stirring yet!) and let stand covered for 10 minutes to steam.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it is brown and crispy in places, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. To make the yogurt sauce, combine the yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl and stir. Top with the herbs, oil, and a pinch of salt.
  5. To serve, transfer the rice and lentils to a platter and top with the pistachios, raisins, and onions. Serve with the yogurt sauce.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 300
  • Carbohydrates: 37.3 g
  • Fiber: 7.3 g
  • Protein: 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

Keywords: middle eastern, brown rice, lentils, caramelized onions, mujadara

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