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Lebanese mujadara

Lebanese mujadara

Total Time
1 hr 30 min
15 min
1 hr 15 min
Here is a perfect example of the pay-off you can get if you cook low and slow. After about an hour, you end up with incredibly sweet and deeply flavoured onions. You only need to buy 4 ingredients, the rest of the flavour comes from your staples.


Brown onion

3 large, thinly sliced

Dry lentils

1½ cup(s), brown variety, (300g)

Brown basmati rice

1½ cup(s), (300g)

Fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup(s), chopped

Olive oil

¼ cup(s), (60ml)

Dried bay leaf

2 whole

Ground cumin

3 tsp

Vegetable stock cube

2 individual, gluten free variety, (to make 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock)


  1. To make caramelised onions, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until onions start to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour or until onions are very soft and golden brown. Reduce heat to low if onions are browning too quickly, adding a little water if needed, to prevent onions catching on the base of pan.
  2. Meanwhile, cook lentils with 1 bay leaf in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet instructions, or until just tender. Drain and set aside. Discard bay leaf.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 15-30 seconds, until very fragrant. Add rice and season with ½ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until rice is coated in spices. Stir in stock and remaining bay leaf and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Discard bay leaf. Fold in lentils and one-third of the caramelised onions. Remove from heat and stand covered.
  4. Meanwhile, place the remaining caramelised onions over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until onions are deeply browned and crisp with some charred spots. To serve, transfer rice and lentils to serving bowls. Top with remaining caramelised onions and parsley.


Recipe hack: If you like, replace the dried lentils with 4 cups (800g) of rinsed and drained canned lentils and skip step 2. Foodie fact: Mujadara is a Middle Eastern dish with many variations, but this recipe is closer to the Lebanese version. With rice, onions and lentils being the main components, it’s often referred to as a peasant food because of how cheap it is to make.