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Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice

August 2, 2022 | by Vered Guttman

Whether you call it Mujadara or Kichri, we have the recipe.

There are many versions of mujadara or kichri. It consists of either rice or bulgar cooked with lentils, and topped with fried onion or yogurt. And since the dish is vegan or vegetarian, it is common to serve it during the first nine days of the month of Av (Tisha B’Av means the ninth of the month of Av) when the custom is to not eat meat and before the fast, learn more about other foods associated with mourning here.

Did you know that the Jewish philosopher Maimonides recommended eating up until being 2/3rds full? He would never have recommended that you clean your plate like your grandmother did. Get more Jewish food thoughts here.


  • 1 cup dried French lentils
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar


  1. Put lentils and 2 teaspoons salt in a sauce pan and cover with 3 cups water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes until lentils are almost tender. Add rice to pot, mix gently, cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes longer. Add boiling water by the ¼ cup if the stew seems too dry.
  2. While the rice and lentils are cooking, sauté the onions in 4 tablespoons oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat, until nicely browned. Add brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt for the last two minutes of sautéing and remove from the heat.
  3. When mujadara is ready, mix in ¾ of the sautéed onion, transfer to a serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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