Mujadara: Garlic Fried Rice and Lentils

With Crispy Onions.

Mujadara is a Middle Eastern dish that is simply made of garlic, lentils, rice, and crispy onions–as the title of this post suggests. Very little spices are added, they include: curry powder, cumin, and salt.

Mujadara is usually done differently, without the garlic part. But once upon a time, when I first started cooking, I wanted to make Mujadara, then I realized I didn’t have onions to fry with the rice and lentils. So, I substituted it with garlic instead. Ever since that day, I only use garlic because it turned out so good! I do use onions though, but only for the topping. All of these things together are oh so yummy. It’s a really quick and easy dish to make, with minimal work. Serve with yogurt and salad on the side if you want.

You will notice that I will not mention how much water we will use, as I never use proportions. But I have included a trick for you in the directions below that you can always use when cooking rice.

Yields: 5-6 servings


2 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup lentils
2 cups rice
3/4 tsp cumin, divided
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
1 onion
cooking oil for frying


  1. Rinse the rice first, then place it in a bowl and cover with cold water
  2. Rinse the lentils using a strainer and wash it thoroughly
  3. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover the lentils by about 5 cm.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp of cumin to the lentils, and stir to combine.
  5. Bring the lentils to a boil, then turn down the heat to low. Let them simmer for about 20 mins. Drain and set aside.
  6. In a cooking pan, add the olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat.
  7. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cumin to the garlic, and mix.
  8. Add the drained lentils to the pan and mix again.
  9. Drain the rice and add it to the pan.
  10. Sprinkle the curry and salt, then stir all ingredients until combined.
  11. Add water to cover the rice and lentils. Use the finger trick method: level it out first, then imagine your index finger touching the rice, add enough water to where you can imagine the line of your first knuckle would be, so about 2.5 cm over the rice and lentils.
  12. Cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat to medium-low and let it cook for about 20 mins. Come back to check. It will be ready when the water has completely evaporated and rice should be tender.
  13. While the rice is cooking, cut the onion into thin slices.
  14. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the onions until they become light brown, then remove to a plate covered with paper towel. Do not overcrowd the skillet with onions, you might do 2 patches depending on the size of the skillet you are using.
  15. To serve, sprinkle the onions over the rice and lentils. Enjoy!

Posted by

Writer, encourager, and home decor enthusiast. Loves to write stories, has a passion for interior design, and enjoys baking goods.