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Mujaddara Arabic Lentil and Rice Pilaf served with some sliced cucumbers and fried onions

Mujaddara - Arabic Lentil and Rice Pilaf

Mujaddara is a simple comforting lentil and rice pilaf tossed with loads of fried onions. This easy to make Lebanese pilaf is known can be made vegan and makes for the perfect Thanksgiving side or meatless weeknight dinner!

Course Main Course, side
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword easy, lentil rice pilaf, lentils, meatless mains, mejadra, mujaddara, pilaf recipes, side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 544 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


  • 125 g green lentils
  • 100 g basmati rice
  • 2 big onions
  • 2 tbsps flour mixed with 1 tsp salt
  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • 2 tbsp coconut yogurt or greek yogurt
  • oil for frying


  1. Place the lentils in a colander and wash them. Drain and transfer to a pot, adding plenty of water. Let come to a boil, then reduce the temperature and let lentils simmer for 15 minutes. 

  2. Wash the rice well and drain in a sieve. 

  3. Peel and slice the onion finely using a mandoline. Place on a plate and dust with 2 tbsps of flour, salt and pepper. 

  4. Heat a big pan on medium high heat. Crush the cardamom pods with the back of a knife an place in the pan along with cumin seeds. Toast without fat until fragrant for about a minute. Add 2 tbsp coconut oil, the drained rice, laurel leaf and ground spices as well as 3/4 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar or maple syrup.

  5. Let everything fry for about 1 minute, then add 350 ml of water and the pre-cooked lentils. Let come to a boil, reduce the heat, place the lid on top and let simmer for 13 to 15 minutes. If you notice that the water evaporated too quickly, add a splash. 

  6. In the meantime, add enough oil to a deep pot or pan that it stands about 2 cm deep. Heat until it reaches 350 F. Fry the onions in 2 batches until nicely browned and crispy. Transfer to a kitchen towel-lined plate and let cool down. 

  7. Take the lid off the rice and quickly place a clean kitchen towel on top and put the lid back on. Let the pilaf rest off the heat for another 10 minutes. 

  8. Fluff up the rice with a fork and add half of the fried onions. Serve with more fried onions on top and a dollop of non-dairy sour cream or coconut yogurt.