Mjadarra – Lentils and Rice

  • Servings : 4

In the old times, in Lebanon, Mjadarra was poor people’s food; nutritious and cheap.

Nowadays, it’s everybody’s favourite and a popular dish when you want a meat-free meal. And of course, it’s an ideal dish for vegans & vegetarians.

Lentils are pulses with many nutrients such as fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and they are low in calories.

There are many varieties. The ones used for this recipe are the brown lentils. But you can use the green ones if the brown lentils are not available.

This dish when eaten with Lebanese flat bread, some raw greens and a tomato or raw cabbage salad, is a complete meal.


  • 1 cup of brown lentils, washed (advance soaking is not necessary)
  • 1/4 cup of white rice (preferably round grain), washed
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 or 4 tbsp of olive oil + a drizzle at the end
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1

Put the lentils in a pot with enough water on a medium heat. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and let the lentils simmer until they are perfectly cooked (mushy). Do not add any salt until the very end.

Step 2

While the lentils are boiling, fry the diced onions in olive oil until they become caramelised (brown). It is necessary to do this because it will give the real good flavour for the mjadarra.

Step 3

Now add the rice to the pot of lentils together with the caramelised onions and the spices (but not yet the salt).

Step 4

Let the mixture simmer on very low heat, stirring every now and then until the rice is well cooked and the mixture has blended and thickened. Add more hot boiled water if needed to achieve this operation.

Step 5

When ready (the Mjadarra is thick enough) and before removing from the heat, add the salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well then pour the mjadarra into a serving dish and let it cool. Mjadarra is usually eaten at room temperature.

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