Quick and Easy Spiced Lentils and Rice

Quick and Easy Spiced Lentils and Rice

This spiced lentil and rice dish has been around for many centuries because of a good reason: it’s simply that good. It's called mujaddara, a traditional Middle Eastern dish that has first been documented in a cookbook during the medieval period. It’s no wonder that this dish has been passed down to generations and across borders because it’s delicious, affordable, and nutritious. In fact, this plant-based meal contains lentils, which are locally-grown legumes that help manage blood glucose levels.

As if it can’t get any better, you can cook this plant-based recipe with the help of a rice cooker. This review notes that rice cookers today are high-tech and smart enough to cook recipes other than rice. You can use it to sauté your onions and pressure-cook your lentils and rice, helping you cook the spiced lentils and rice with minimal effort! Another option is to use an Instant Pot, which are popular kitchen tools that can be used for pressure cooking. Whatever you’ve got on hand, get ready to try this delicious and filling recipe that you’ll want to recreate over and over again.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup green or brown lentils
2 large onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup parsley
½ tbsp ground cumin
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 ½ cups water


1. Lentils need a bit of preparation before the big show, but it’s totally worth it! Ensure that the lentils are ready for cooking by preparing them beforehand. This guide recommends that you soak them in a bowl of water overnight. But if you forgot to do it (it happens to the best of us), just place the lentils in a bowl of hot water until it’s showtime.

2. Take one of the onions and cut it into half-moon slices. There's no need to grab your pan, just use your rice cooker or your Instant Pot and switch on the sauté function. To start, add the oil before switching on the aforementioned setting. Once the oil is ready, add the half-moon sliced onions and stir them until they have turned brown.

3. Remove the caramelized onions from the pot and set them aside. It may be tempting to taste them, but you'll need them for later!

4. For the next step, finely chop the garlic and the remaining onion. It’s time to have another go with your kitchen tool's sauté function using these ingredients.

5. Once you’ve finished sautéing, add the parsley, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chili powder, and the bay leaves. With all those spices, you're guaranteed that your dish will be fragrant once it's ready for consumption.

6. Remove the water from the soaked lentils before adding it to the pot. Rice doesn't need to be soaked, but it still needs to be cleaned well. Make sure that you've rinsed these grains before placing it inside the pot.

7. Pour in the water before closing the vent.

8. Turn on the pressure-cook function (if your cooker has it) for six minutes. Chill and relax while waiting.

9. Once it’s ready, gently mix the spiced lentils and rice with a fork. Garnish it with the caramelized onions and parsley after.

10. This dish is so tasty and nutritious that you’ll be able to eat numerous servings of it. But you can spice it up even further by adding a little drizzle of olive oil, slices of tomatoes, or even a spoon of tahini! You can even add other seasonal vegetables or serve it with salad.

This recipe is everything you need and more. It’s quick, easy, flavorful, affordable, plus it’s plant-based. But if you’ve got more lentils, then you can recreate this recipe or try our crowd-favourite plant-based lasagna!

Article specially written for thatplantedfork.com

By Alessa Frank

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