"This absolute classic recipe from Lebanon is shared by delightful cook Emma Sofy, who has made it a signature at her renowned inner Sydney eatery Emma’s Snack Bar which started as a corner store many years ago and morphed into a beloved restaurant. The one dish that’s never left the menu is mujaddara. It’s astounding how much flavour comes from the four key ingredients - lentils, rice, onions and olive oil - but, as they say, it’s what you do with them. The accompanying garlicky cabbage salad and pickles add a fresh crunch to the earthiness of the dish." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth
A bowl of Lebanese mujaddara is the ultimate comfort food and it's amazing to think that so much flavour can come out of lentils and rice.
- 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
- 2 onions, roughly diced
- 430 g (2 cups) brown lentils, washed and drained
- 1 tbsp salt
- 100 g (½ cup) medium grain white rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ green cabbage, thinly shaved
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced, fried in olive oil until golden and crisp
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.
Heat the olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the lentils, salt and 1 litre water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the washed and drained rice and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender and most of the water has been absorbed.
To make the cabbage salad, pound the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms. Stirring continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and mix until creamy and well combined. Place the shaved cabbage in a large bowl, add the garlic paste and toss to coat well. Add the vinegar, check the seasoning and mix well.
To serve, spoon the lentil mixture over a large plate. Scatter with fried onions and serve with the cabbage salad, pickled vegetables, olives and Lebanese bread.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.