A SIMPLE RICE & GREEN LENTIL DISH (with caramelised red onions and toasted pine nuts)

Hi all! I wasn’t going to post this recipe, but received a lovely response when I posted it on Instagram today.

My newly-vegetarian husband felt like lentils and rice for dinner last night, and together we made this version of a dish loosely based on the traditional Lebanese meal, mujadarra.

So, whether you are looking for a light veggie dish to serve with a green salad or a versatile accompaniment to something fresh from the grill, you might like to try this out.





300 ml long grain/basmati rice
150 ml dried green lentils, rinsed
4 red onions, sliced
3 tsp ground cumin
A large pinch of ground cinnamon (this was all I had left!)
2 tbsp olive oil
50 ml fresh parsley, chopped
100 ml pine nuts*, toasted
Salt and black pepper to season


  1. Cook rice according to directions or as per your usual method**. For this quantity of rice it should take around 25 minutes.
  2. In a separate saucepan, cook lentils according to directions OR, using the ratio 1 part lentils to 2 parts water, bring 300 ml water to the boil and add lentils before reducing to a low heat and simmering until they are tender but not overly soft. This should take around 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the cooked lentils under cold water in a sieve.
  3. While cooking rice and lentils, bring 125 ml water to a simmer in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and allow them to soften for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add another 125 ml water, cumin, cinnamon and good pinch of salt to the onions and continue to cook until they are soft, stirring frequently.
  4. When water has evaporated, add olive oil and allow onions to finish caramelising.
  5. Add rice and lentils to saucepan with caramelised onions and stir through gently to combine ingredients. Season to taste and garnish with parsley and toasted pine nuts.


*Other nuts/seeds could be added or substituted here. Toasted almonds or cashews would be a yummy addition to the pine nuts which, in my opinion, perfect this dish and make it a cut above variations that don’t include them.

**It seems that almost everyone has a preferred method for cooking rice, so by all means, stick with yours if you know it works best for you.

***Recipe inspired by this one found at www.wholefoodsmarket.com

38 thoughts on “A SIMPLE RICE & GREEN LENTIL DISH (with caramelised red onions and toasted pine nuts)

    • Me too… now! When I was a newbie vegetarian teenager, I managed to cook up the blandest sort of rice-y lentil-y mush. Just horrid! Thankfully my cooking skills have improved since then 😉
      Have a lovely day, lovely! x

  1. This looks so fantastic! I simply adore mujadarra but don’t eat it nearly enough. I never order it when eating out since I get distracted by the temptation of falafels and hummus, but there’s really no excuse now that I have your recipe.The introduction of pine nuts must add a lovely, toothsome crunch, too.

  2. Oh MM– this looks so delicious– love pine nuts and cumin– from two different ends of my cookbook– but they sound great together and we do cook a lot of lentils. I’m copying this one down. Let you know when I make it!!

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