Megadarra, Esau's Dish, or Lentils With Rice

Total Time
Prep 50 mins
Cook 0 mins

A very tasty and nutritious vegetarian meal, even though it is not very colourful. Use any green or brown lentil that holds its shape when cooked (i.e. not the red split lentils, which cook to a mush). Please note that the "pint" I mention is a British pint of 20 fl oz. This recipe comes from David Scott's "Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookery". Posted in the hope of joining the North African and Middle Eastern Zaar Tag game.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat half the butter or oil (2tbsp) in a large, heavy pan, then add the lentils and stir over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, cumin and allspice, then return to the boil and mix well.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils and rice are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed (probably about 15-20 minutes). Keep an eye on it - depending on the type of rice and lentils you use, you may need to add more water. When cooked, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter or oil in a small frying pan, and fry the sliced onions until they are dark golden in colour, adding the garlic towards the end of the cooking.
  6. When ready to serve, mix about three-quarters of the fried onion into the rice and lentil mixture, then transfer the mixture into a large serving dish. Pour the yoghurt on top, and garnish with the remaining fried onion. Serve immediately.
Most Helpful

As an alternative to the rice, a fine to medium bulghur may be used. I prefer my onions to be burnt as the flavor is outstanding. I am Syrian and was raised on this dish, but it's just a matter of your preference.

dogsandwoods April 22, 2010

WOW! This dish was really delicious and very simple to make. I used French Puy (green) lentils and brown basmati rice. By the time it was cooked the lentils had turned brown, probably due to the ground spices. The allspice is a great addition to the dish, it had quite a meaty flavour. Who would have thought lentils and rice could taste so good? and it's really healthy too! I'll definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe Esau.

Umm Anas Ameenah February 27, 2009

The best Lentils with Rice recipe I have found yet! I did find I needed to use more liquid to stop it catching. It was really wonderful though - thanks for sharing this recipe!

Carrie! June 28, 2007