Lentils with rice – Moudjentra is a traditional Cypriot dish also found in the Greek islands and the Middle East. Apart from being delicious, it’s a filling, hearty meal with high nutritional value. It can be ready in 30 minutes with just a few easy pantry ingredients.
Why this recipe sings
Lentils with rice – Moudjentra is a deliciously simple dish with high nutritional value. It is hearty and nourishing, easy to make with a few ingredients already in most pantries. It is also budget-friendly.
The combination of lentils and rice is found all over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Greek islands.
In Cyprus, it is called moudjentra / moujentra/moutzentra and is made from scratch with lentils and rice.
In Crete, they call it fakorizo. It usually consists of leftover lentil soup combined with rice.
In the Middle East, they serve the dish with caramelized onions. You will find it as mujadara, or mujadarah, majadra, mejadra, etc
I like to make mine from scratch. The caramelized onions suit the dish well, so I borrow from the Middle Eastern recipe, slice my onions, and let them caramelize (with no sugar) before adding them to the lentils.
Here is what you need
- Lentils. The most common variety of lentils in Greece is the medium size brown lentil. They taste great and hold their shape after cooking. The peppery green and black “caviar” lentils would also work well n this dish.
- Rice. I use long-grain rice primarily, like Carolina. That said, I made this recipe with arborio rice, which was delicious. So use whatever you have handy.
- Onions. In most recipes in the greek region, the onions are diced and cooked with rice and lentils. Some recipes call for sliced onions cooked in olive oil. In this recipe, I like caramelized, crispy onions. I cook them longer with no added sugar, and they develop a lovely sweet flavor and a bit of crunch.
- Lemon. The lemon adds bright notes and freshness to this dish.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
How to make it
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Lentils With Rice
- Mesh strainers
- 11 oz green lentils 300 gr
- 1 litre boiling water 4 cups
- 3½ oz long grain rice ½ cup
- 1 lemon
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 onions sliced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Greek olives
- Put the lentils in a stockpot.Fill with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain the lentils and return to the pot.Pour in 4 cups boiling water, cover the stockpot and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the rice and the juice from the lemon. Season with sea salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes, covered.
- In a skillet warm up the olive oil.Add the onions and cook for 15-20 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
- Save some of the onions for garnish.Stir the remaining onions into the lentil and rice and mix.
- Serve lentils and rice immediately topped with reserved onions in bowls with olives, warm bread, and taramosalata.