Mujaddara Palestinian Rice Lentil Dish

I don’t know if I ever mentioned here that I love the smell of fried onion, love its crispiness and sweetness almost like candy, and often make a batch of caramelized onions to enjoy with rice or pasta. When I saw mujaddara I knew it was something I have to try NOW! So what is mujaddara? The word “mujaddara” in Arabic means “pockmarked” – lentils among the rice resembles the pockmarks (Wikipedia). It is known as poor man’s food in Palestine. I always have rice, onions, and lentils in my cupboard so it saved me the trip to the supermarket. It can be served as a main dish with chicken as I did or as a side whether served cold or hot is up to you.


Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):

  • 3-4 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie stock


In a medium pan heat up olive oil and fry onions until crispy and caramelized, over medium heat, stirring from time to time, keep onions equally spread on the pan so they go brown evenly. It can take a little while to fry them to that stage, but I promise it’s worth the hassle. In a separate saucepan bring the stock to boil and add previously soaked rice and lentils, cook until lentils are tender for about 15 – 20 minutes, drain and stir into onions, and season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve with chicken or bread.