Muna’s Mujadara

Guest Post alert!! After receiving world wide praise for her challah recipe back in 2009, Jess is back. Here’s her latest and greatest contribution to Chef Monsta, with a great mujadara recipe.

On my last trip to Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv, to visit my in-laws, I was fortunate to get a cooking lesson from Muna, a woman that cooks for her children and 20 grandchildren every day. When my mother in law, Ani, asked her to teach me how to make her famous mujadara, she said “yes, I know that my mujadara is very good because others have asked for my recipe.” She also said that it’s a simple side that her children take for granted and would never specifically request since it is an Arab staple that accompanies most meals. Here is Muna’s famous mujadara recipe.

muna's mujadera

Makes 12 servings as a side dish or 6 servings as a main dish

2 cup of green lentils
2 cup of long grain white rice
9 cups water
1 cup + 2 tbsp Olive oil
2 medium onions

mujadera ingredients

Soak rice in water for 40 minutes and strain.

Put lentils into pot with the water and bring to a boil. Once the lentils come to a boil add 1 large heaping tbsp cumin and 1 tbsp olive oil to the boiling lentils and stir. Cook lentils on high heat for 30 minutes or until soft.

Peel the onions. Slice each onion in half from stem to root and cut each half again lengthwise, then turn 90 degrees and slice into very thin strips.

chopping onions

Pour 1 cup olive oil into pan, and add all the onions.

sauteed onions

Fry on high heat for at least 30 minutes until very brown, mixing every couple minutes. Meanwhile, finish the rice and lentils. Once the lentils are easily smushed between your 2 fingers, they are ready. Add the drained rice to the lentils, and add 1 heaping tablespoon of salt. Mix.

rice and lentils

A trick Muna learned from her grandmother: To check if the consistency is correct, after mixing, stick a spoon into the center of the pot. If the spoon stands straight up in the center, the consistency is perfect. If the spoon falls and cannot stand straight up, remove a bit of water from the pot until the spoon stands up.

cooking lentils

Continue to cook on high heat. When most of the water evaporates, turn heat down to a simmer. It should look like this:

mujadera cooking

Allow to simmer for 10 minutes and then take a fork and scrape rice from the sides of the pan and fluff all the rice and lentils with a fork.

mujadera photo

Then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes more.

Once the rice and lentils are done, pour them into a serving bowl and even out the surface so that it is flat. The onion should be browning at this point, and you should stir the onions constantly towards the end. Keep cooking the onions on high until dark brown.

crispy onions

Pour the onions and the oil they were cooking in evenly spread on top of the rice.

mujadera picture

Serve hot or warm.

From Chef Monsta: This mujadera recipe pretty much blows my original mujadera recipe out of the water.

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  1. DumboDomestic

    i made this recipe for the 3rd time tonight! its really well documented. I’ve been using brown rice so I put it in a little bit before the lentils are mushy because it takes longer to cook, and also watch the water levels. But, its a crowd pleaser every time!! Thanks Muna, Chef Monsta & Jess

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