What is mujadara?
Mujadara features lentils, rice and caramelized onions. It’s a traditional Middle Eastern dish with a rich history dating back centuries. This humble yet flavourful recipe has its roots in the region’s peasant cuisine, where simple ingredients were combined to create a satisfying and nutritious meal. Today, mujadara continues to be a beloved dish enjoyed for its comforting flavours and health benefits.
What makes mujadara healthy?
This healthy mujadara recipe is packed with nutritional benefits. Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fibre, and essential minerals such as iron and folate. The combination of lentils and rice provides a complete protein source, making it an ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, lentils contain antioxidants and are known for their potential to promote heart health and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Do you have a diet restriction?
This Mujadara recipe is:
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
- Low Fat
Step 1: Lentils & rice
This recipe can be made with either dried or canned green lentils. I cant get dried green lentils locally so I’ve opted for canned which I will add in at the end as they are already cooked. If using dried lentils, add in 160g of green lentils at the same time as the brown rice along with an extra 500ml of water. In a large saucepan with a well fitting lid, add 200g of brown rice, 800ml of hot water, 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of dried garlic or 4 fresh cloves, chopped and a little crack of salt and pepper to your tastes. Heat on low for 25-30 minutes. by this time the rice should have doubled in size and the water should have soaked into the rice.
Step 2: Caramelized onions
Meanwhile, half and then thinly slice an onion. In a non-stick skillet or pan, add the sliced onions and cook over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent. This should take around 10-15 minutes. Add in 1-2 tsp of your choice of sweetener, whether this is honey, maple syrup or granulated sugar, all work well but my personal favourite is honey. Be sure to stir your onions frequently and keep the heat low as sugars can burn very fast.
Step 3: How to present mujadara:
Typically, mujadara would be served on a sharing platter but I regularly make this dish just for myself so it goes on a regular plate for me unless I’m feeding others in which case it goes into a glass dish. Spoon your spiced lentils and rice onto your plate and top with the crispy onions. Top with spring onions or fresh coriander leaves to garnish.
This healthy mujadara is a satisfying meal on its own, but you can also pair it with a fresh salad or yogurt for a complete and well-balanced feast. The creamy texture of yogurt complements the earthy flavours of the dish, while a crisp fresh salad adds a refreshing contrast. For added flair, serve it with a side of warm pita bread or pickled vegetables. Although its not in any way traditional me and my son both think this dish goes really well with coleslaw, check out my healthy recipe below if you want to try this wacky pairing.
Can mujadara be made in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the mujadara in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent it from drying out.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Absolutely! Mujadara freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as mentioned above.
Can I modify the spices in this recipe?
Feel free to adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Add more cumin, coriander, or any other spices you enjoy. Experimenting with flavours is part of the fun! I love to add a spoonful of paprika to this mujadara recipe
Can I use white or brown rice?
This specific recipe is made specifically with brown rice and green lentils, if you want to use white rice or wild rice, I would reduce the water to 400ml and either cook the lentils separately or use canned. White rice will also take closer to 15 minutes to cook so its great for a quick version!
Can I add extra vegetables or toppings?
Certainly! Mujadara is a versatile dish, and you can customize it to your liking. Consider adding sautéed mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes for extra flavour and texture. As mentioned above, we love this mudajara recipe with coleslaw on the side.
Enjoy this healthy mujadara recipe, celebrating the traditions of Middle Eastern cuisine while promoting a nourishing and wholesome lifestyle.
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