Mujaddara (Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions)


This is a tasty rice dish that could be your whole meal if you would wish for that.


2 lb yellow onions, halved and sliced thinly
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup green or brown lentils (not the French ones, the regular ones), rinsed and picked over
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar


  1. Add ¼ cup vegetable oil to Dutch oven over medium heat. When shimmering, add all onions and
    1 tsp salt. Cook on med heat stirring occasionally until caramelized and dark golden brown,
    about 35-45 minutes. Drain off, leaving extra oil in the pot and keep on a paper towel lined

  2. While onions are cooking down, add lentils to a pot with 5 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to
    a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until just tender, 15-17 min.

  3. While onions and lentils are cooking, cover rice in bowl with hot tap water. Swirl water to
    release starch. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. After this, rinse with cold water in colander until
    water runs clear. Leave to drain in sink.

  4. Once dutch oven is free of onions, heat the reserved oil from onion cooking and 3 additional
    tbsp olive oil until warm. Add coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and garlic to oil and
    cook until raw scent is gone from spices and garlic. Add drained rice and cook until spices coat
    rice and they start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water, sugar, one tsp salt
    and bring to a boil.

  5. Stir in lentils and cover. Turn heat to low and cook for 12 minutes.

  6. Remove pot from heat. Lift lid and place a clean dish towel over the pot and over again with the
    lid. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Add ½ the onions and gently toss together. Serve
    on platter/shallow bowl mounded with remainder of onions +/- chopped parsley on top.