Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra)

Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats.


  • 3-4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil + 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds (or 1 tsp. ground cumin)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP coriander seeds (or 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander)
  • 1 c. basmati or long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 c. water 
  • 14 oz. canned brown lentils, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper
  • Serve with a Mediterranean salad: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, olives, etc. with Garlic Expressions dressing


  1. Caramelize Onions: Heat up to 1/4 c. of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat; then add the onions and saute until caramelized. Add more olive oil, if necessary. Once caramelized, season with salt, to taste. Remove onions from saute pan.
  2. Rice: In the saucepan over medium heat, add the 2 TBSP of olive oil, cumin seeds, and coriander and cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant; then add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and spices; then add the water and lentils.
  3. When it comes to boil, add the turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and pepper; and then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover with lid and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has mostly been absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes – during this time, any residual liquid will absorb.
  5. Fluff rice with a fork and adjust the seasoning with more salt if you wish. Add the caramelized onions and toss to combine.

Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra):

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