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Mejadra Dish

Prep: 10 mins / Cook: 25 mins

Cheats Mejadra

Spiced Rice & Lentils with Crispy Onions

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

Mejadra is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that’s simple to make, affordable and incredibly flavourful. Using only a few basic ingredients, combined with warming spices, Mejadra is a beautiful mezze dish to serve alongside various breads, dips and salads, or it can be served as a standalone meal, topped with a dollop of thick yogurt. Leftovers are perfect for lunch or a picnic treat. By using our pre-soaked canned lentils, this ‘Cheats’ Mejadara recipe is super quick to prepare.

  1. 250ml sunflower oil (GT080)
  2. 2 medium onions, very thinly sliced
  3. 1 can Suma brown lentils (VF073)
  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds (HE175)
  5. 2 tsp coriander seeds (HE174)
  6. 1 cup basmati rice (QS050)
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil (GT084)
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric (HE161)
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon (HE139)
  10. 1 tsp white sugar (LJ090)
  11. Salt & black pepper
  12. 2 cups water
  13. Fresh coriander and lemon wedges to serve


  1. In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the sunflower oil on high heat and add half of the sliced onions. Fry for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy, stirring often. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil. Fry the rest of the onions, transfer to the plate and season with a pinch of salt.
  2. Drain the lentils into a colander and rinse very under cold running water.
  3. In a smaller saucepan, add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast for a minute until they become aromatic. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice in the oil and spices, add the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to its lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat, lift the lid and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool slightly and then tip the spiced rice and lentils on to a large serving platter. Top with the crispy onions, fresh coriander, lemon wedges and season to taste with salt and pepper. It’s delicious served hot or cold.

Thanks to melaniehadida of spiceangreen for the recipe and images.