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Mdardra (green lentil rice with caramelised onions)

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  • 100g green lentils
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 20 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups boiled water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Cooking Time
    15-20 mins
  • Serving
    Serves 7
  • Skill Level


I really didn't know what to cook today, so asked my sisters for suggestions. One request was mdardra, a Lebanese dish made of rice, mixed with green lentils and topped with tasty caramelised onions. The ingredients are simple, yet the taste is spot on!!!
  1. Place the green lentils in a pot, and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil over medium heat, until the green lentils are soft
  2. In the meantime, wash and drain the rice a few times until the water becomes clear, then leave the rice to soak in water until ready for use
  3. In a pot, heat the olive oil and vegetable oil on high heat, then add the onions and mix over the high heat until the onions are completely caramelised (this process can take up to 20 mins or even more, so be patient). Remove the onions and set aside
  4. Drain the cooked lentils, and add to the same pot as the one you just cooked the onions. Add the drained rice too, then top with the boiled water and salt. Add a quarter of the caramelised onions to the rice, and mix gently
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and leave to cook for 15 mins
  6. Check the rice is cooked by fluffing it with a fork. If it is done, cover the pot with a towel or kitchen tissue, then place the lid over this, and leave for 5 mins until ready to serve
  7. Plate up your rice, and place the remaining caramelised onions on top

This tastes lovely on its own, or served with yoghurt (which you can add mint, garlic and cucumber to), or even a salad. Great for those who love lentils or like vegetarian dishes from time to time. Enjoy :)


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