• Local cook Um Bayan shows the class how to make mujadara. (Michaela Morgan)Source: Michaela Morgan

Mujadara is a popular rice and lentil dish, cooked in many countries throughout the Middle East. It’s a simple vegan dish, but is full of flavour, thanks to crispy caramelised onions. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (19 votes)

There are many versions of this staple of the region – this is how it’s made in Jordan. You can eat it hot or cold, which makes is perfect to take on a picnic. 


  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups brown lentils, soaked overnight in water, drained
  • vegetable oil, for cooking
  • ½ cup vermicelli noodles
  • 1 kg brown onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: overnight

Place the rice in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain well. 

Place the drained lentils in a large saucepan and cover with 1 litre (4 cups) water. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat and fry the vermicelli until golden. Set aside.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, golden and caramelised. Set aside.

Add the drained rice, fried vermicelli and half of the fried onions to the pot with the lentils and stir to combine. Season with salt. Cover with a lid slightly ajar and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Check halfway through to see if you need to add more water. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. 

Place the lentil and rice mixture on a large serving platter and scatter over the remaining fried onions to serve. You can serve hot or at room temperature.


This recipe is part of our feature The Arab cooking school keeping a grandmother’s recipes alive. Listen to the podcast here:


The author travelled to Jordan as part of The Foreign Correspondent Study Tour. Read more stories form this series.

The Foreign Correspondent Study Tour is a joint UTS and Swinburne University project, supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.