Traditional Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra, Mujaddara)

A handful of simple ingredients + onion frying skills = delightful bliss. If you are looking for a non-indian lentil dish then try the Traditional Middle Eastern Rice. It is also called Mejadra or Mujaddara.

Recipe for Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra, Mujaddara)

4-6 servings


2 tbsp olive oil
200 g basmati or long grain rice , uncooked
200 g green or brown lentils
350 ml water
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1-2 pieces fresh turmeric or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Black pepper

Crispy Fried Onions
3 large onions , very finely sliced
250 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
3 tbsp flour


  • Firstly cook the lentils according to the packing directions. They should have some bite left. Set aside.
  • In the meantime mix the onions, flour and salt. Add more flour if necessary. The onions should be covered with flour. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add about 1/3 of the onions and cook for 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels. After that continue with the next batch.
  • Put the olive oil, crushed cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a saucepan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and spices.
  • Pour in the water and mix in the cooked lentils.
  • While the mix comes to boil, add all the other spices, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has mostly been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes – during this time, any residual liquid will be absorbed.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, adjust the seasoning with more salt if you wish.
  • Just prior to serving, stir through 2/3 of the onions and top with the rest.
  • Finally sprinkle with chopped coriander. Serve without delay. Middle Eastern Rice is best served warm.


Whole spices taste undeniably better. Crush them yourself. If they are not available, use ground ones.

Fresh is the magic word. Use fresh ingredients like e.g. garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili

You can also use red or black lentils.

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