This Ultimate Mujadara Recipe is not your average lentils and rice with fried onions. It’s rice cooked with spices, ground lamb and lentils, then topped with fresh mint, parsley, fried onions and feta cheese! The BEST Mujadara ever!
There’s something so hearty and filing about this one pot wonder that seems like such a simple combo, yet it’s utterly delish!
So while Mujadara is Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean, you’ll find it made differently in different places. I’ve never really had a Mujadara I didn’t like, but I can tell you for sure, this ultimate Mujadara right here, is my favorite!
I always get asked -is Mujadara Vegan? The answer is yes. Classically Mujadara is vegan, but today I’m adding some American lamb to it 🙂 I also get asked what is and how to make Lebanese Mujadara? You’ll find the full recipe video below!
A Mujadara or Mujaddara or Mediterranean Lentil Rice, is classically a rice and lentils dish topped with crispy fried onions. But this version has a an extra layer of flavor, thanks to the lamb!
I’m using American lamb here and always. Because it’s the sweetest tasting lamb you’ll ever have. Trust a lamb loving person like me, who’s been eating lamb forever. Seriously.
American lamb is raised to the highest industry standards, and it’s always fresh for you. So there’s no excuse not to support our local hard working farmers and eating frozen lamb that’s traveled thousands of miles. And above all that frozen stuff doesn’t even taste good!
Adding lamb to my Mujadara is probably like adding that something missing you look for in some recipes for the wow factor.
Similarly for maximum lentil flavor, I cook the rice using the lentil water instead of stock or just plain water.
My favorite Mujadara recipe means the rice and lentils don’t need to be mushed together! So for that, I cook the lentils separately and the rice separately and finally mix them together.
Then there’s the crispy onions.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY FRIED ONIONS
That’s certainly one of my favorite tips. When you toss a tablespoon of cornstarch with your sliced onions before pan frying them, you get seriously crispy onions. Like really crispy good stuff!
Finally, the toppings. As optional as ever, and as un traditional as ever, but OMG as delicious as ever too!!! They add a burst of fresh, texture and contrast to the Mujadara.
HOW TO MAKE MUJADARA/MEDITERRANEAN LENTIL RICE
Start by cooking your lentils, drain them and save the water.
Then go ahead and start cooking the American lamb with onions, spice and garlic. Add in the rice and give it a saute with the flavourful lamb. Then you’ll add the lentil water you saved earlier and let the rice cook through.
While the rice is cooking, prepare your crispy onion and toppings.
Now finish off this beauty of a dish! First of all, add your lentils to the rice and lamb mixture and serve it on a plate. Top that with the crispy onions and your favorite toppings.
There you have it. Perfect side dish, main dish, leftover lunch and certainly the perfect Mujadara recipe!
TIPS FOR LENTILS AND RICE MUJADARA RECIPE
- Make sure your lamb is cooked all the way through before adding your rice, so that you don’t end up with a soggy rice.
- Your lentils can be cooked 4 days in advance, but make sure to strain the lentils from the lentil water right after it’s cooked.
- The lentils water can be flavored with an onion, garlic and , or bay leaves for more flavor.
- The lamb and lentil water add so much flavor to the Mujadara so try not skimp!
- Cooking the rice and lentils separately and just tossing them at the end is probably the best way to avoid a mushy rice and lentils mixture.
- Don’t forget the cornstarch tip while frying the onions for that crisp!
Enjoy and Make this ASAP!!
Ultimate Mujadara Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/2 pound lamb ground lamb, use American Lamb
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups rice uncooked
- 3 1/2 cups water from the cooked lentils
- 2 cups lentils cooked
- 1 tablespoon lime juiced
- 2 onions red onions are best, sliced thinly
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons oil neutral tasting oil
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley cilantro and mint, minced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
Cook the lentils and save the water.
In a large deep skillet, preheat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the American lamb, garlic and herbs. Season with salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg and sauté for 10 minutes until the lamb has cooked through.
Add in the rice and toss for 2 minutes with the lamb, then add in the lentils water and cover the skillet.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat to low. Allow the rice took for 20-30 minutes until tender.
In the meantime, make the crispy onions by tossing the sliced onions in cornstarch and then pan fry for 10 minutes tossing every few minutes until golden. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Once the rice is cooked, add in the cooked lentils and blend well.
Serve the Mujadara on a serving dish, topped with the crispy onions and your favorite toppings. Enjoy!!
Make sure your lamb is cooked all the way through before adding your rice, so that you don't end up with a soggy rice. Your lentils can be cooked 4 days in advance, but make sure to strain the lentils from the lentil water right after it’s cooked. The lentils water can be flavored with an onion, garlic and , or bay leaves for more flavor. The lamb and lentil water add so much flavor to the Mujadara so try not skimp! Cooking the rice and lentils separately and just tossing them at the end is probably the best way to avoid a mushy rice and lentils mixture. Don’t forget the cornstarch tip while frying the onions for that crisp!