Mdardara (lentil and Rice Pilaf)

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr

My stepmother is a North Lebanon native, and her version of this is a secret, but this recipe is just as good. It's nice and hearty, and good for toddlers and babies. Pureed, it's called Mjaddara, and the onions are still tender, and mixed in. From the Sahtain cookbook.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak rice in hot water (not the 5 cups above--separate water) for 15 minutes, drain.
  2. Stir fry onions in oil until golden brown, set aside to crisp and drain.
  3. In the same pot, reserve 1 tbsp of the oil add water and lentils, and boil until lentils are tender, but still a little firm.
  4. Add the rice, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil again.
  6. Lower the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed.
  7. Serve hot or cold.
Most Helpful

3 5

My mom loved this dish, and I will test it out on my toddler tomorrow. I enjoyed the dish, but will probably add more liquid in the future so the Mdardara isn't so thick and to ensure that the rice is less "al dente." Otherwise, a very good main course dish.

5 5

The flavors of lentils (I used brown) and rice, with the onion, is mmmmm good! DH and I loved this recipe, and ate it all day! You are indeed correct, Momma, it tastes good both hot and cold. We call this comfort food!! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

4 5

Tastes good but ours came out quite mushy, the lentils were almost fully disintegrated. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be? I feel the softness is due to the red lentils, which I am assuming meant split red ones (the ones used in soup all over the Middle East??) I soaked my rice as usual in cold water as I have white Basmati rice that does not do well with much soaking. I used canola oil as the only olive oil I have is unrefined extra virgin. I used sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. I cooked the rice and lentils with the general amount of liquid I use for cooking rice, which was exactly what was left over from cooking the lentils in a covered pot. I served the rice with Shredded Beets With Thick Yogurt for a basic meal.