Sunday, 26 May 2013

Mdardra (green lentil rice with caramelised onions)

I really didn't know what to cook today, so asked my sisters for suggestions. One request was mdardra, a Lebanese dish made of rice, mixed with green lentils and topped with tasty caramelised onions. The ingredients are simple, yet the taste is spot on!!!

  • Skill level: Easy
  • Serves: 7-9 people
  • Prep time: 30-40 mins
  • Cooking time: 15-20 mins
What you will need:

100g green lentils
2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
20 onions, peeled and sliced
3 cups boiled water
1 tbsp salt

How to make:

1) Place the green lentils in a pot, and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil over medium heat, until the green lentils are soft

2) In the meantime, wash and drain the rice a few times until the water becomes clear, then leave the rice to soak in water until ready for use

3) In a pot, heat the olive oil and vegetable oil on high heat, then add the onions and mix over the high heat until the onions are completely caramelised (this process can take up to 20 mins or even more, so be patient). Remove the onions and set aside

4) Drain the cooked lentils, and add to the same pot as the one you just cooked the onions. Add the drained rice too, then top with the boiled water and salt. Add a quarter of the caramelised onions to the rice, and mix gently

5) Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and leave to cook for 15 mins

6) Check the rice is cooked by fluffing it with a fork. If it is done, cover the pot with a towel or kitchen tissue, then place the lid over this, and leave for 5 mins until ready to serve

7) Plate up your rice, and place the remaining caramelised onions on top

This tastes lovely on its own, or served with yoghurt (which you can add mint, garlic and cucumber to), or even a salad. Great for those who love lentils or like vegetarian dishes from time to time. Enjoy :)


  1. How do you get the onions to turn that brown lol mine never turn out like that the always turn out burnt or nowhere near that color

    1. Do u put the oil on high heat? And then put small batches of onions - even mine could have been better if i used less onions at a time..

  2. If I put the oil on high it spits everywhere and the onions go black lol never brown like yours mashallah :(

    1. Dont worry... decrease the heat so that its not so high...instead leave the oil to get hot on a not so high heat. Dont want you getting burnt from this process! :)