Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions


One of the foods that remind me most of my childhood is the family favorite of rice and lentils. We called this judara, rolling the ‘r’ to make it sound more exotic. This middle-eastern dish is served with caramelized onions and makes the perfect main course or an admirable side dish.

Mujaddara is also spelled majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, megadarra, or judara. It is derived from the Arabic word for “pockmarked” with the lentils in the rice resembling pockmarks. In the Arabic Christian culture this is a dish that is eaten during lent. In reality, it is a tasty dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year.

My father prefers the onions to be extra-crispy and nearly to the burnt stage. For me, I prefer to cook the onions to a golden brown for the perfect mix of flavors. His mother would cook this dish with several pots and pans. This recipe takes advantage of our modern tool set. Use a rice-cooker for a quick and easy meal that takes little effort.


Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions
Prep Time Cook Time Serves
10 min20 min4


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Put lentils and rice in a rice cooker with 3 cups water and start rice cooker using the white rice setting
  • While rice and lentils cook, heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil on medium-high
  • Add onions to heated oil and cook until golden brown.
  • When rice and lentils are done in rice cooker, add the cooked onions, salt, and pepper and mix.