My variation on Mujadarah-Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish



This is a variation of mine on another favorite Middle Eastern dish, ‘Mujaddarah’   a classic lentil and rice dish ,in which it`s name slightly varies aswell as it`s preparation.The basic concept is cooked Green Lentils with White Rice garnished with fried onions,though sometimes made with Burgul(cracked wheat)and even Red lentils replace the Green in certain variations,while at others thinstrand noodles are added.It is a very simple but  ‘hearty’  dish as it represents a great nutritional balance ,served with a small fresh salad,you`ve got all you need!

As I have encountered with many Middle eastern dishes,there exists a similar Rice and lentil dish in the Indian cuisine aswell,and it is named Kichri. Another fact I found intriguing is that it is said to be the dish of ESAU from the bible! Which just goes to show that a GOOD dish sticks around for while..  🙂

Ok.Now in this case Im sticking to another all time favorite of mine-the Green lentils,but the smaller ones if you can find,and if we`re already being picky here ,then I just ADORE the ‘Le Puy’  lentils! I fell in love with them when I used to live in France,they`re smaller, darker and have this stronger flavor to them ,apparently due to the special soil they grow in which also renders them higher  in protein content. In any case Lentils are known to be very high in iron, making them just perfect for those who do not eat Meat.

Otherwise I am also sticking to white rice,whichever you prefer ( I personally prefer basmatic but I think I`ll talk about that another time..). The variation here is in adding  sauted Leek  and Spinach.Call me a ‘Leek freak ‘ if you will,but I use it a whole lot ,and though I have nothing against onion,I just think that Leek has that added flavor to it..and Spinach as we all know is another high source of Iron and Calcium.Oh and I almost forgot ,I also added mushrooms(Champignon mushrooms) in this case,which is totally optional.

Shall we begin..?


1 cup white rice

1 cup Green lentils

1 large leek

 200gr fresh Spinach

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms

Dried Sage

Baharat/or allspice

Dried Zaatar leaves (not mix)/or Oregano

Salt and pepper

Olive oil ( Does any other exist..?)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

Rince the Rice in water several times to wash the starch away,you will see the water becoming clear and drain well.bring the water to boil in a saucepan,add the rice with a little salt and olive oil,allow to boil vigorously before reducing the heat,and cook with a closed lid on a low heat for about 20 minutes.

In a separate pan,after rinsing the lentils(some presoak them),place them with water ,bring to a boil.remove scum and add salt and pepper,1 tsp Baharat,1 tsp crushed Dried sage,1/2 tsp zaatar(or oregano) ,lower heat and cook for approx 1.5 hr until tender.

In a skillet saute sliced Leek in some Olive oil until tender ,add the chopped mushrooms and saute slightly until ‘browned’ a bit ,reduce heat and add torn or chopped Spinach leaves,then add the rice and the lentils together,mixing it all together,using a bit of the remaining water inwhich the Lentils were cooked,adjusting the flavors with more of the spices if needed,aswell as an additional touch of Olive oil if you wish.

Et Voila..

Enjoy!  🙂

P.s  I`d Love to hear any other versions you would like to share!

*Update on this post! After reading Simona`s  delicious post – ‘Cannellini bean puree’ on her blog ‘briciole’ , informing us that she will contribute this recipe to a legume centered event  My legume love affair- Eighth Helping , created and hosted this month by Susan, The Well-Seasoned cook, I decided to try and participate ,submitting this post, though almost  at the last minute..Im very excited! 🙂 Thank you Simona,Thank you Susan!

*Additional note: Just to let you know,the lentils  separately cooked with these spices can be served as a very tasty dish in itself ,aswell as adding the sauted leek and/or spinach to them upgrading the dish a bit and having the rice or something else on the side. 🙂


11 Responses to “My variation on Mujadarah-Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish”

  1. Yum, your version looks very tasty!


  2. Mia, I have never tried mujadarah, but I have heard of it. I have eaten rice with lentils, but not with all the other additional ingredients. I really like the idea of adding leeks to it instead of onion. This sounds so nutritious! My kind of food! Yemegin fotografi cok guzel gorunuyor! Ellerine saglik.


  3. This is a really nice recipe and I am so glad you submitted to MLLA8. I am a leek freak too, so I am totally in agreement with your interpretation. And I love spinach too, so I am putting this recipe in my “to try” list. Grazie!


  4. kahliyalogue Says:

    *Thank you Meeso!

    *Nihal,Cok tesekkur ederim Ablacim,kelimesiz kaldim !

    *Simona,thank you I am flattered! Prego,Grazie a te !


  5. Can you imagine if Esau had Puy lentils? I agree with you, Mia; they are a particularly lovely lentil.

    Thank you so much for sharing this quick and cozy recipe for MLLA8!


  6. kahliyalogue Says:

    Hehehe, I guess he would of moved to France! 🙂
    Thank you Susan for hosting this wonderful event!


  7. […] is with Sauted Leek,spinach and Champignon mushrooms,much like what I did for the lentils in my Mujadarah post,though can easily be filled with a combo of any of the 3 components,or any of them […]


  8. As a Middle Eastern fan it is nice to find interesting versions of Middle Eastern recipes like this majadra one, I will try it soon!


  9. Awesome blogpost, didn’t thought this would be so cool when I read your url!


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