Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lebanese Rice & Lentils

After making this dish for several years, I've created a basic recipe without sacrificing flavor. There's a more complicated recipe on this blog too. But I rarely prepare it now because I'm busy with cross-stitch pattern making. Ain't nobody got time for that. I need simple, tasty and reheatable recipes these days.    

A whisper of cozy cinnamon, plenty of black pepper and a hit of fresh lemon juice are essential to any proper rice and lentil dish. I like more lentils than rice. If I'm in the mood, I add cumin. Cumin is lovely with lentils. But it's a strong spice, so I have to be up for it. Lentils, lemon and black pepper were made for each other.

I'm Lebanese so I finish this humble rice and bean dish with a sprinkling of mint and a generous drizzle of fruity olive oil. Mint counters the earthy lentils. Olive oil adds lusciousness.

Rice and lentils (mujadara as it's know in Lebanon) is a delicious vegetarian meal. It pairs well with feta, Greek yogurt, olives or my Easy Lebanese Chopped Salad .  It's also great with my Chili-Sesame Salmonmerguez or spicy Italian sausages. It's good hot or at room temperature, which makes it a welcome choice for warm weather dining. It reheats well too.

Lebanese Rice & Lentils Recipe

Makes A Large Platter

Some Notes & Tips

I tend to use French green lentils since they retain their shape better.
I always cook the rice separately from the lentils so everything stays lively and doesn't turn mushy.
If you'd like to see all my healthy and tasty vegan and vegetarian recipes check out the  Recipe Index.  

A longer and more involved rice and lentil recipe can be found HERE.


  • 2 cups of French green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of long grain white rice. I use Carolina Brand.
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)
  • Salt to taste. I use fine sea salt.
  • Plenty of  black pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking, plus more for drizzling

To Serve: Greek yogurt or labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt), a sprinkle of dried or fresh mint


Cook the rice according to the package directions. I always add salt to the water. Set aside.

Cook the lentils by putting them in a pot with water enough to cover the lentils by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the lentils are soft. Stir them occasionally and add more water if it has been absorbed.  I find this method works well to help them hold their shape. I like the lentils a bit al dente and not too mushy.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in a large fry pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook the onions until they're golden brown and soft. Once the onions and lentils are done, combine them in the pan with the cooked rice, cinnamon and cumin (if using). Salt to taste. Stir in plenty of black pepper (freshly cracked is best) and a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice. Finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges and any of the above suggestions.

Bon Appetit!

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