Mujaddara according to Basel – Arabic rice with lentils

First recorded recipe for Arabic mujaddara appeared in a cookbook (Kitab al-Tabikh) compiled by Iraqi scholar al-Baghdadi in 1226 (sic!). Back then it was often served on the Rich people’ tables along with meat and various vegetables. Besides, dish was mostly known among the Poor as its preparation required only four, cheap ingredients: rice, lentils, olive oil and onion.
This winter, to be precise – two weeks ago, Amman disappeared under thick layer of snow, turning into a ghost town, where average Jordanian didn’t even think of going out. Local newspaper, Jordan Times reported that record amount of bread and number of DVD’s had been sold. Just before the snowstorm, charmingly called Huda, bakeries were bursting at the seams, and customers were queuing up at the street. Thanks to governmental regulation all shops were closed during the snowstorm. Together with my Palestinian friend Basel, I was staying at our friend’s place. And then , suddenly, Basel said – I’ll make you mujaddara!
And then – the history has come full circle. As those poor Arabs in the Middle Ages, we were sitting, eating warm rice with lentils, freezing, thinking of better future and enjoying our company.
Mujaddara according to Basel – Arabic rice with lentils
serves 41 cup rice + 2 cups water
1 cup green lentils (Puy) + 1,5 cup water
5 tbls olive oil
1 big onion
1 tbls butter + 1 olive oil
garlic clove
salt1. Clean and rinse rice, add water, salt and boil on the low heat.
2. Cook lentils in the second pot. After it’s boiled add 5 tbls of olive oil
3. Mix lentils with rice.
4. Melt butter and olive oil on a pan. Add garlic and finely chopped onion. Fry until gold.
5. Serve mujaddara sprinkled with carmelized onion and a touch of thick yoghurt.
6. You can season with cumin, salt, pepper, fresh parsley


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