Lentils, Rice & Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

Lentils, Rice & Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Website Adapted from The Food Network


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Small yellow onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils (rinsed)
  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp ground)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Lemon wedges, chopped parsley and greek yogurt for garnish


If using canned lentils (about 2 cups), reduce water to 2 cups.


1. In a large skillet or heavy bottomed pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and peppercorn and toast for about 1 minute until cumin starts to lightly brown.
2. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook over medium low heat, stirring often and scrapping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, until they are a deep brown colour. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water as you go if they stick to the bottom of the pan. This will take about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover dried lentils with about 2" of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
4. When onions are done, remove ½ of them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. Add basmati rice, ground cumin and cinnamon, stir carefully and sauté for 1 minute. Add 2½ cups water, lentils and remaining salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. Remove cover, fluff with a fork and top with remaining onions, toasted pine nuts and parsley and serve with lemon wedges and greek yogurt.