Vegan Mujadarra (Middle Eastern Rice with Brown Lentils)

I’ve been on a sweet/ dessert roll for the past few weeks and realised that I hadn’t posted any savoury recipes. This  Middle Eastern “Mujadarra/ Mujadara” is the perfect food for a quick Autumn week night. Fragrant brown Basmati rice enveloping spicy lentils flavoured with caramelised onions and cumin seeds are the perfect way to keep tummies filled! As we change seasons, my weekends are busy as, I to try to do a pantry + fridge + freezer stock take and use up whatever I find. This “Mujadarra” recipe, came by with my finding some cans of brown lentils and leftover cooked brown Basmati in the fridge. I had everything else in my pantry including the oil and spices, making this one of my quickest recipes, ready under 30 minutes. If using dried lentils, then they need to be cleaned, soaked, rinsed and cooked until al-dente before adding to this recipe. The rice also needs par-cooking before adding to the recipe, increasing the amount of water required along with the time.

Vegan Mujadarra/ Mujadara

Gluten-free, Vegan and full of lentil goodness. A quick recipe ready under half an hour, when using cooked brown Basmati rice and canned lentils.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
  • 2 cups Brown Basmati Rice, cooked
  • 1 can Whole Brown Lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large Brown Onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds, roasted and powdered
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Greens, chopped (Optional for garnishing)
  1. In a deep pot, add the oil and onions. Cook on slow heat until the onions start to caramelise.  Add a tablespoon of water if the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

  2. Add the cumin seed powder and mix well.

  3. Mix in the lentils and add 1/2 a cup of water. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken.

  4. Toss in the cooked rice on top of the lentils and drizzle water down the side and cover. Cook until the water dries up.

  5. Serve hot garnished with chopped greens, if desired.

If you liked this recipe, please check out my Vegan Fatteh Hoummus recipe here.

Mango Semolina Pudding A.K.A. Mango Sheera

Semolina based puddings also, called “Sheera” are popular choices for breakfast, afternoon tea and, as a quick dessert that can be put together under half an hour. With the Indian festival season that falls at this time of the year, there’s always something to celebrate. I had a can of sweetened Alphonso mango pulp that I chanced upon the last time I was at the Indian store. The little ones helpfully offered to deal with it with a can opener and a couple of spoons but, were pacified with the promise of a pudding!

We need,

  • Semolina, coarse – 1/2 cup
  • Sweetened Mango Pulp – 2 cups
  • Xylitol – 1 tablespoon
  • Warm Water – 1/2 cup
  • Green Cardamom Pods, powdered – 4 to 5
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tablespoons


  1. In a thick bottomed pan roast the semolina until golden and aromatic. Set aside on a flat plate to cool.
  2. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and coat the pan well.
  3. Add the mango pulp and cook slightly till the raw smell evaporates.
  4. When the pulp starts to bubble up add the roasted semolina by the spoonful and mix well removing any lumps.
  5. Add the water and Xylitol while stirring constantly.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to come together like a dough leaving the sides of the pan.
  7. Take off the heat and sprinkle the cardamom powder and remaining coconut oil.
  8. Remove into serving bowl while warm.

Serve warm, or at room temperature. I would love to know your favourite fruit based desserts in the comments below!