Mujaddara is a Middle Eastern dish that turns simple ingredients into something special. Take your time browning the onions—it’s what makes this dish so delicious.

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Hands-on time: 60   |    Total time: 105   |    Makes: 4 Servings


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
2 medium-sized pots
Heatproof spatula
Pot holders
Small bowl


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup water
1 teaspoon cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3 1⁄4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 cup brown lentils
6 ounce baby kale or spinach
juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 cup


  1. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the pot is hot, add the oil, onions, garlic, 1⁄4 cup water, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir well. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are brown and soft, 40–45 minutes. If you see that all of the liquid has evaporated, add the remaining 1⁄4 cup water to the pan.
  2. Put the chicken broth, rice, and lentils in the other pot, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil (you’ll know it’s boiling because you’ll see little bubbles breaking at the surface). Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice and lentils are tender, 35–45 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the greens or herbs, and let sit 5–10 minutes (there should still be a small amount of broth remaining).
  4. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and gently mix, then stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. Now taste the mujaddara. Does it need a pinch of salt? Another squeeze of lemon or spoonful of vinegar? If so, add it and taste again.
  5. Serve right away, garnished with yogurt, if you like, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

The acid in the lemon or vinegar really brightens the flavor of this dish. If you want to see how much, try tasting the mujaddara before adding the lemon or vinegar and then again after. What did you think?