Lebanese rice and lentils (mujaddara)

Lebanese rice and lentils (mujaddara)
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min

This Ottolenghi-inspired dish of rice and lentils is full of warming Lebanese flavours – a comforting dinner recipe for those cooler nights.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
775kcals
Fat
30.2g (7.2g saturated)
Protein
25.6g
Carbohydrates
92.5g (13.6g sugars)
Fibre
15.4g
Salt
0.2g salt
Calories
775kcals
Fat
30.2g (7.2g saturated)
Protein
25.6g
Carbohydrates
92.5g (13.6g sugars)
Fibre
15.4g
Salt
0.2g salt

Ingredients

  • 500ml sunflower oil
  • 4 onions, finely sliced
  • Generous handful plain flour, well seasoned with salt
  • 200g green or brown lentils
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250g basmati rice
  • Large pinch caster sugar
  • Small bunch fresh coriander

For the garlic yogurt

  • 250ml Greek yogurt
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan until it shimmers. Rub the onions in the flour to coat them, then add in batches to the hot oil – it should sizzle as they go in – and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper. 
  2. Cook the lentils according to the pack instructions for a couple of minutes less than the time stated (they should still be firm), then drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and set aside. 
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the cumin and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat, until the spices become fragrant, then add the turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and sugar, stirring to coat it in the spices, season well with salt and pepper, then add the lentils and 700ml water. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down and bubble gently for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. 
  4. Meanwhile, mix all the garlic yogurt ingredients in a bowl, season and set aside. Once tender, remove the rice from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and place a lid tightly on top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then fluff up with a fork and stir in half the fried onions. Pile onto a serving platter, top with the remaining onions and a scattering of coriander, then serve with the garlic yogurt on the side.

delicious. tips

  1. We have to credit Ottolenghi with introducing us to this comforting Arab dish, to which we’ve added a garlicky yogurt side.

  2. The crispy onions will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 12 hours. Re-crisp in a low oven before serving.

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