Mejadra: Middle Eastern Rice Recipe



  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Total: 95 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Cooking Method: Frying
  • Recipe Cuisine: Middle-Eastern


  • 4garlic cloves
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1tablespoonground cumin
  • 1 3/4 teaspoonsalt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 5cups water
  • 1cup brown basmati rice
  • 1cup brown/green lentils (picked over for debris, rinse, and drained)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2yellow onions
  • 1/2 cupgreen onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cupfresh cilantro (chopped)
  • Kalleh Seven yogurt for serving
  • spicy saucefor serving

Mejadra is golden comfort food. Mejadra is a traditional Arabian dish with cooked lentils, rice, caramelized onions, herbs, and yogurt. Lentils and onion rice is a super easy and extra delicious vegetarian main dish.

This middle eastern rice can become everyone’s comfort food. It sets your mind and soul at ease. Just think about digging into a flavorful and tangy bowl of homemade hot rice mixture sided with cold yogurt. How does it feel?

If you have your comfort food and understand this feeling, you need to give this unique dish a try.


Step 1

Ready to make some fabulous mejadra? In a large Dutch oven, combine the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, salt, and about 20 twists of freshly ground black pepper.

Add the water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Once boiling, stir in the soaked and drained brown basmati rice. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook the rice while stirring occasionally.

Adjust the heat if necessary to maintain a steady simmer for about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in the lentils and let the mixture return to a simmer. Cover the pot again and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender for about 25 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil is warm enough, add the onions, stir to combine.

Stir occasionally until they start to brown. You want them to get soft as they are browning.

Adjust the heat to control the softening.

Cook until the onions are deeply caramelized and starting to crisp at the edges about 25 to 30 minutes.

Line a large plate with a couple of paper towels.

Step 5

With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked mejadra onions to the lined plate and spread them evenly across it.

Sprinkle the onions with salt. They will crisp more as they cool.

Step 6

When the lentils and onions rice is ready, drain off any excess water and return the pot’s mixture.

It should be off the heat. Lay a towel across the top of the pot to absorb steam, cover the pot, and rest for 10 minutes.

Step 7

Remove the lid and discard the bay leaves and smash the garlic cloves.

Add about ¾ of the green onions and cilantro, reserving the rest for garnish.

Gently stir and fluff the lentils and onions rice with a fork. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Step 8

Transfer the mejadra rice mixture to a large serving platter.

Top it with caramelized onions and the remaining green onions and cilantro.

Serve this colorful and tempting mejadra warm with Kalleh Seven yogurt and spicy sauce on the side.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.