Spiced Rice & Lentils (Mejadra)

Mejadra rice is an easy dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner. This recipe is very healthy and delicious. You will love it! Don’t forget to pin it for…

Spiced Rice & Lentils Mejadra in a white frying pan with a wooden spoon

Mejadra rice is an easy dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner. This recipe is very healthy and delicious. You will love it! Don’t forget to pin it for later!

It is my first recipe since Christmas, and I am back with something easy yet absolutely delicious. This Mejadra dish is perfect for a family dinner, lunch or make-ahead meal. I hope it will brighten up your weekly meal planning. Easy to cook but so impressive – it is full of Middle Eastern flavours thanks to spices such as ground coriander, cumin, and all-spice mix.

Spiced Rice & Lentils Mejadra
Spiced Rice & Lentils (Mejadra)

Mujaddara (Arabic: مجدرة mujadara, with alternative spellings in English majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra) consists of cooked lentils together with rice and garnished with sautéed onions.

Sauteed onions

In my opinion, a lot of flavours in this dish come from the onions. Slowly fried on low heat for 10 minutes, the onions release a lot of flavours and complement the spices absolutely perfectly. In fact, if you like fried/sauteed onions as much as my husband does I strongly recommend you double the amount of onions in this recipe. There can’t be too many onions in this dish.

What do you need to make this spiced rice and lentils?

Another reason I like this recipe – it only requires a very few ingredients and I am sure you already have them in your cupboard or fridge.

Here is what you will need:

Spiced Rice & Lentils Mejadra, ingredients
  • Basmati rice. Basmati rice is originally cultivated in India and Pakistan and it is no surprise it is used in Indian cooking so often. I used white basmati rice in this recipe but you can use brown, which is a slightly healthier option.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. I rarely use any other oils in my cooking. Olive oil has so many health benefits and literally no side effects. There is a reason why it is so popular in Mediterranean cooking. If you still use vegetable oil in your cooking, give olive oil a go. I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Onion. Your everyday brown onions are all you need for this recipe.
  • Spices. Ground cumin, coriander, and all-spice. I use these spices in my cooking a lot. They add so much flavour and have tons of health benefits. If you don’t usually use spices in your cooking, give it a go. This recipe is a great way to start. The spices blend perfectly with rice, lentils, and onions. So delish!!
  • Lentils. We of course will use some shortcuts and use tinned lentils to save some time. I love using canned beans in my cooking when I am short on time which is pretty much every day. When using canned beans however make sure you choose the best quality you can find. I only buy organic beans in BPA-free tin. The price difference between organic and conventional variety is very small so it won’t break your budget but add a lot of advantages.

What to serve with rice and lentils

You can enjoy this dish on its own, sprinkle some more coriander on top, so good. However, this dish goes really well with any protein. Try to serve with some chicken shawarma, baked white fish or just fried halloumi. I even enjoyed it with a fried egg ?

Spiced Rice & Lentils Mejadra

How to store

If you have any leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. Make sure you consume it within two days and reheat it before eating. Rice doesn’t freeze well, so I would not recommend freezing it, in my experience rice becomes mushy once defrosted.

And here you have it. My first recipe in 2022. I try and keep it a little more regular and post the next one in the coming week. Let me know in the comments how you liked it.

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Spiced Rice & Lentils Mejadra in a white frying pan with a wooden spoon

Spiced Rice & Lentils (Mejadra)

  • Author: Elena Elliott
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 serves 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion halved & thinly sliced, take two if you like fried onions
  • 2⁄3 cup basmati rice rinsed
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tin of organic lentils (400g tin) drained & rinsed, use BPA-free if you can
  • 2 cups (250ml) water
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Start by heating olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions and fry on low, stirring frequently until onions are soft and golden. It will take you approximately 10 minutes.
  3. While onions are cooking measure and rinse your rice in a mesh colander, and leave in the colander to dry.
  4. Once the onions are done transfer them to a plate. Do not wash your frying pan we will need it to cook rice.
  5. Return the frying pan to the heat.
  6. Add rice and spices to the saucepan and stir to coat. Fry the rice for a couple of minutes until the rice is dry and the spices are fragrant. Add water cover, and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  7. While rice is cooking, open and rinse the lentils in the mesh colander, and leave to drain. and bring to the boil. Lower the heat down to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Once the rice is cooked, stir through lentils, take off the heat, and cover. Let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  9. Add the onions and coriander to the rice dish and mix well with a fork.
  10. Garnish with some extra coriander leaves and enjoy!!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Middle eastern

Keywords: Spiced Rice, rice & Lentils, Mejadra, gluten-free

Spiced Rice & Lentils (Mejadra)

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