Lebanese Lentils and Rice

Carolyn Haas


Our favorite Lebanese restaurant in Minneapolis (Emily's Lebanese Deli) serves this dish and we love it! This is similar! It's also known as Mujadara!


★★★★★ 1 vote

10 Min
35 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 c
    brown or green lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1/4 c
    olive oil
  • 1 tsp
    cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp
    cracked black pepper
  • 3 medium
    onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    sea salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 c
    basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp
    cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1
    cinnamon stick - 1 inch
  • 2 Tbsp
    pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp
    lemon juice
  • ·
    greek yogurt, or luben, for serving

How to Make Lebanese Lentils and Rice


  1. Place rinsed lentils in medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to boil , then lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until done. Drain and set aside.
    Rinse the rice to remove some of the starch and set aside, too.
  2. As lentils cook, put oil in medium sized skillet. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds and cracked pepper, cook until cumin seeds darken, about 1 minute.
  3. Then add onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook until their deep chestnut color and slight crispiness develops on some of the onions.
  4. With a slotted spoon or spatula, remove about half of the onions and place on a paper towel-lined plate; use for garnish later. Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and add the cinnamon stick; saute about 1 minute.
  5. Add the rice and cook, stirring often until some rice grains start to brown. Quickly, add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and about 1 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and rice should be tender. Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the rice to sit for about 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts, if using, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until they start to turn brown and fragrant.
  7. Taste for seasoning. Serve with the reserved caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts, if using, and the lemon juice. You may serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or luben (Lebanese yogurt).

Printable Recipe Card

About Lebanese Lentils and Rice

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Middle Eastern
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Hashtags: #lebanese #Mujadara

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