mujadarra_recipe RECIPE: MUJADARRA

Recipe by Molly Neuman

This classic Middle Eastern dish is a staple in our house because it's so hearty, flavorful and comforting. The simple addition of caramelized onions is the perfect complement to the seemingly basic combination of rice and lentils. Take note: the rice should be well rinsed and drained before cooking, and the water added should be boiling to encourage separation and fluffiness of the grains.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups long-grain basmati rice, well rinsed 3.5 cups boiling water (or more if needed) 2 cups cooked green lentils 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin Yields 4-6 servings of ¾ to 1.5 cups each. Total cost of ingredients:$3.09 ($0.51 to $0.77 per serving).


  1. In a skillet with tall sides, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook for about 20 minutes (stirring every 5 minutes or so) or until the onions are well-caramelized. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. While the onions caramelize, make the rice and lentils. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the rice and sauté until well coated by the garlic and oil. Add the boiling water, cooked lentils, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add a bit more water if the rice does not feel tender.
  5. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving dish and top with caramelized onions.