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Middle Eastern Mujadara


45 min preparation, 45-60 min cook time


Lorna/ @lornagarden

Middle Eastern Mujadara


  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 cup raw basmati rice, rinsed well & drained
  • ½ cup raw red lentils, rinsed & drained
  • ½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6-7 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 medium brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • High quality salt to taste 
  • Coconut yoghurt, fresh pomegranate & fresh coriander, finely chopped to serve


  • Place  large clay pot or heavy based saucepan on medium heat and add 2 tbsp of the olive oil.

  • When oil is warm, add garlic and leek, and stir for 3-4 minutes until softened.  

  • Add spices, and stir for 2-3 minutes until aromatic.

  • Add the red lentils and 2 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to the boil

  • Allow to simmer for around 10 minutes.

  • Add the rice, quinoa, baby spinach and remaining stock to cover well and bring to the boil

  • Cover the pot and allow to simmer for around 25-30 minutes (or if using clay pot place in oven at 150oC for 1 hr, checking regularly).

  • While this is cooking, heat a heavy based fry pan to medium/hot and add the remaining 2tbsp olive oil.  Fry the sliced onions for 10-15 minutes or until well caramelized.  Set aside.

  • When all the liquid in the pilaf has absorbed and the grains are all cooked through (add more water if required), stir through parsley, onions, raisins and pistachios. Add salt to taste.

  • Allow to stand covered for 5 minutes

  • Serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of coriander. 

Serving Suggestion: Add a selection of oven roast vegetables eg beetroot, pumpkin & cauliflower for a well rounded meal.


Based on the traditional Arabic recipe which features an aromatic blend of lentils, rice and caramelized onions, in this version we have also included quinoa for added protein & fibre. This dish is really good cooked slowly in a clay pot, on the stove or in the oven if you have the time.