Have a rice day: The October Daring cooks challenge and the Palestinian Mujadara

For the month of October, Sawsan from chef in disguise challenged us to prepare a rice based main meal that represents our own culture, or one from a cuisine that we would like to explore

I was so excited about this month's challenge. Thank you Sawsan!!! Rice is such an important pantry item in my house and it is an important ingredient in the Middle Eastern pantry. We make so many dishes using rice:

1. All kinds of pilafs like Mujadara, Maqloobeh, Kabseh, Mandi...etc.
2. As a stuffing for zucchini, small eggplants, green pumpkin, turnips, red carrots, cucumbers, chicken...you name it.
3. As side dish with Middle Eastern stews were it is plain white, or with toasted vermicelli or yellow by adding turmeric.

In my household we go through 15-20 kilos of rice a month... and I am not kidding...we are 3 adults, 2 teens and 1 toddler. Still that is a lot of rice...hahaha..thankfully it is not very expensive and affordable and that is probably why it is so popular.

Today I have decided to share a very classic Palestinian dish, Mujadara. (I also made eggplants Maqloobeh which I will be sharing in another future post...I promise).

So Mujadara in essence is a brown lentils and rice pilaf that is topped with fried onions and served with yogurt and a green salad. It is so easy, nutritious and affordable. The Egyptian version of this dish is the famous, Kushari, which is lentils and rice served with pasta, chick peas, fried onions, a special red sauce and another vinegary hot sauce ...its basically layered and served; once of the most iconic Egyptian dishes. As you can tell from the ingredients, it is very nutritious and affordable not to mention delicious.

Dish is from Silsal Design House

In Palestine, Mujadara is made usually on busy days, when farmers go to pick the harvest as it is easy to make right there in the field or to pack from home. It is a great vegetarian protein source without the meat specially if paired with yogurt.

Today I am sharing my grandmother's recipe or how she used to make Mujadara. It was loaded with flavor, love and history. Whenever I make it today, I remember her and I remember the huge amounts she made to feed an army of 8 daughters, 3 sons and their children (you can only imagine).

And as a tribute to her and to the famous Palestinian Mujadara...I wanted to share the steps filmed in a short video to explain the step (they are way too easy). I hope you enjoy it along with our Middle Eastern music.

Small notes before we start:
- Make sure you go through your lentils to ensure no stones in them; you don't want to break a tooth!!!
- Use red onions for this recipe as they will result in a crunchier fried onion vs. white onions. It is not the end of the world if you use white but I do advice with the red ones.
- Use Extra virgin olive oil and ghee for maximum flavor.
- Use medium grain or short grain rice (long green or basmati are totally not for this recipe)

Palestinian Mujadara
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
3 cups medium grain rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
Boiled water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp ghee (Don't use if you are a vegetarian)
4-5 red onions, thinly sliced
Flour to dust onions
1 tsp sumaq

In a large pot, boil lentils in a good amount of water (about 3 cups) along with cumin. (don't add salt as it will take longer to cook the lentils if you do that). Once cooked through, add salt and rice. Mix together and add enough boiled water to cover the pilaf (about 1 1/2 cm or 2 cm above) (you can use chicken stock if you like).
Put on the stove over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce heat to the lowest and cover 3/4 way through. Allow the water to evaporate and the rice to cook.
In the mean time, heat olive oil and ghee in large frying pan.
Dust sliced onions with flour (to get them crunchy rather than soggy)
Fry on high heat till they are totally brown (this is how they are made, they are not supposed to be caramelized as you would for an onion soup)
The last step that give the amazing flavor for Mujadara is to put some of that fat while hot (the olive oil and ghee flavored with onions) on top of the Mujadara (see the video).

Serve by  arranging the pilaf in a dish, top with onions  and sprinkle with Sumaq
Serve with yogurt or yogurt and cucumbers salad (yogurt, cut cucumbers, minced fresh mint or a tea spoon of ground dried mint, one clove of garlic and salt) and the famous Arabic green salad.

Try it ...you will love me!!! hehehehe
If you do, please do leave me a note as I would love to hear your views.

المجدرة!!! العشق الاول لالي هههههههه
اللي بيعرفني (وانتو عارفين مين انتو:) بيعرف اديش بعز المجدرة.....مالنا ومال الحكي اكلة مقدرة وبتجنن...سهلة وسريعة ومفيدة ورخيصة وبنت حلال مصفي....الحمد لله انه كل اللي بالبيت عندي بيحبوها....ولو ما بيحبوها خاوة بعمل مجدرة!!!

المجدرة الكل بيعرفها تقريبا بس هاد الشهر بنادي الطبخ حبيبتي وصديقتي سوسن ابو فرحة من chef in disguise كانت مضيفتنا وطلبت منا نحضر طبق رز (اي طبق ) بمثل بلدنا او المطبخ اللي منحبه...سوسن شكرا كتير...اجت الوصفة على الوجع....لحبيبتي فلسطين هاد الطبق....لكل الشباب والصبايا بفلسطين هاد البوست....يسعدكم ويقويكم وينصركم يا رب...يا حبايبنا انتو....واسفين على تقصيرنا...اسفين !!!! بس لاني بدي صوتنا يوصل حتى لو بالاكل صورت المجدرة فيديو....بعرف كتير منكم يمكن يقول ...فيديو للمجدرة!!! آه!!! وباللغتين عشان فلسطين!!! 

طريقتي بالمجدرة زي طريقة ستي...البهار الوحيد فيها هو الكمون...الزيت اللي بينقلى فيه البصل هو زيت الزيتون...ومعلقة سمنة حيوانية مشان الحبايب...والطعم خيالي...بياخدني على البيارات اللي انحرمت منها....اللي عمري ما شفتها....الله يكتبلنا نشوفك يا فلسطين محررة بايدين اسودك

ستي الله يرحمها كانت تعمل المجدرة بطنجرة كبييييرة لانه الجمهور كان كبير....8 بنات و3 اولاد واولادهم....ويا عيني...الله يرحمك يا ستي ويا سيدي !!!

مهم قبل ما اكتب الوصفة اركز على بعض النقاط
- العدس ...نقيه الله يرضى عليكي !!!! حتى لو مكتوب عليه منقى....مرات الا ما يكون في حجرة وبلاش تكسير اسنان...تمام!!!
- البصل انا بحب الاحمر لانه المي اقل وبيقرش اكتر بس مش اخر الدنيا اذا استعملتي ابيض او اصفر
- الزيت...زيت زيتون بكر بيجنن...عشان الطعم والكمية كبيرة بس انا هيك بعمل...بدك تقللي قللي...
- سر النكهة هي شوية الزيت اللي بينقلى فيه البصل ينحط على المجدرة وهو ساخن بس تستوي...

ودمتم !!!

المجدرة الفلسطينية
1/2 1 كوب عدس بني
3 كوب ارز متوسط الحبة منقوع 20 دقيقة بالمي ومصفى
معلقة كبيرة كمون مطحون (انا بحب احمص واطحن فريش الطعم غير)
4-5 بصل احمر مقطع شرائح
طحين لرش البصل ليقرمش
1/3 كوب زيت زيتون
ملعقة طعام سمنة حيوانية
ملعقة صغيرة سماق

يسلق العدس بالماء (حوالي 3 كوب) مع الكمون ولا يوضع الملح لانه بيخلي العدس ايبس وبيطول ليستوي
لما يستوي العدس يضاف الارز والملح ونضيف ماء مغلي ليكون اعلى من مستوى الارز بحوالي 2 سم
عندما يغلي تخفض الحرارة على الاخر وتغطى القدر 3/4 تغطية (انا هيك بطبخ الرز وبيطلع بيجنن وكل حبة بحبتها وما بيخبص ابدا)
في هذه الاثناء نحمي الزيت والسمنة بمقلاة
نرش البصل بالطحين وننخله للتخلص من الطحين الزيادة
تقليه بالزيت ليصبح ذهبي ويقرش
نضع بضع ملاعق من الزيت الساخن فوق وجة المجدرة عندما تنضج لاعطاءها نكهة من خارج هذا العالم (ما عم ببالغ...لو اني نزار قباني كان كتبت غزل بالمجدرة)
تقدم مع البصل على الوجة ورشة سماق وسلطة خيار بلبن او لبن بس وسلطة خضراء والف صحة...

ملاحظة...انا اكلت صحن وانا بصور الفيلم وصحنين بس اجو الولاد ههههههههه

الصحن من دار صلصال للتصميم


  1. Your Palestinian Mujadara looks amazing!

    1. Thank you Renee... So kind of you :) I wish I can hand you a dish 😉

  2. Your dishes looks delicious, your video is amazing. I tried too Mujadara rice, it was delicious.

    1. Thank you Laura , you are too kind. I am so glad you like it. Many people might be skeptical about the combination but the results are truly worth it and in my opinion better than meat :)

  3. Manal, Mujaddarh is my favorite too :) lovely dishes by the way :)

  4. Hi Manal, this is a great dish and your video is beautiful that it felt I was sitting at your table :)

    1. Thank you so much Dalia for stopping by... You are more than welcome anytime to my table :)

  5. Lovely dish and I love the addition of the video.

  6. I love mujjadra! It's such a comforting dish :) And this sweet caramelised onion on the top just takes it to another level :)

    1. Sylvia... I totally agree... It is totally comfort food with no guilt :)

  7. I love mujaddara but have never made it myself because I never knew how authentic the recipes were. Definitely one I will try soon in shaa ALLAH.

    1. I hope you do try making it Razena...it's really easy :) thank you for reading :)

  8. Thank you for this. I really enjoyed the video as well as the music. This mujaddara looks wonderful.

    1. Thank you Kevin ...knowing how you like Middle Eastern cuisine I presume you have had or made this before, right?

  9. Way to go with the video! You did such a nice job! Your recipe looks delicious too!

    1. You are too kind Rachel... Thank you for commenting.


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