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Adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Course Entree
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Author TheSpicedLife


  • 1/3 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 2-3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pods cardamom, cracked open
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • salt
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup long grain rice, for dishes like this I prefer Basmati

Possible garnishes:

  • Greek yogurt, plain
  • Lemon wedges
  • fried eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 F.
  2. First set 2 pots of water on to boil, one for rice and one for the lentils. Salt the rice pot generously. Prepare your onions. Pretty much everyone who loves Mujadarra loves the onions--I made a double recipe with 4 onions. I would have liked even more onion, and if you think you would too, prepare 3, not 2.
  3. When the water for the lentils starts to boil, add the lentils and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender but not mushy, and add a hefty pinch of salt toward the end. Drain the lentils and set aside.
  4. When the rice pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. It is too soon to put the rice in.
  5. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  6. Cook the onions, tossing and stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt a second time. Remove 2/3 of the onions to a large skillet and set aside.
  7. Bring the rice pot of water to a boil. Add the rice. After about 5-6 minutes, taste the rice--it should be firm, not yet tender, but not at all crunchy. Let it boil, testing every minute, until no longer crunchy.
  8. While the rice is cooking, add the whole and ground spices to the onions left in the Dutch oven. Stir them in over medium heat and let cook for 1-2 minutes. When the rice has achieved its slightly underdone but not crunchy state, drain it and add it to the onions with spices. Add the cooked lentils also. Mix together.
  9. Cover the Dutch oven with a heavy lid or foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, add one tablespoon of butter to the pan with the remaining onions and place on medium high heat. Stir occasionally--if the onions start to scorch, add about 1/4 cup of water. You can do this repeatedly--the onions will cook down and become quite dark and soft. Sprinkle with salt several times, to taste. Toward the end, you may need to reduce the heat to medium low.
  11. When the 20 minutes are up, remove the pot from the oven. Spread the caramelized onions over the top of the dish. Serve with Greek yogurt and lemon wedges. For main dish, also serve topped with a fried egg.