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.
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.
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:
- 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
Pan-Fried Chicken Drumsticks (simple recipe)
Or just fried halloumi. I even enjoyed it with a fried egg! 🙂
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.
Watch how to make it
Spiced Rice & Lentils (Mejadra)
- 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 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon 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
- ½ cup of fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped
- Start by heating the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and fry on low, stirring frequently until the onions are very soft and golden. It will take you approximately 10 minutes.
- While onions are cooking measure and rinse the rice in a mesh colander. Leave it in the colander to dry.
- Once the onions are done transfer them to a plate. Please do not wash your frying pan we will need it to cook the rice.
- Return the frying pan to the heat.
- Add the rice and spices to the saucepan and stir to coat. Fry the rice for a couple of minutes until it is dry and the spices are fragrant.
- Add water and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat down to very low immediately, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- While rice is cooking, open and rinse the lentils in the mesh colander. Leave them to drain.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir through the lentils, take off the heat, and cover. Let the rice and lentils sit for another 10 minutes.
- Once 10 minutes are over, add the onions and coriander (cilantro) to the rice dish and mix well with a fork.
- Garnish with some extra coriander (cilantro) leaves and enjoy!!
This looks delicious, I will definitely try and make it on the weekend.
Thanks, Emma! Let me know how you go.