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Majadera (Lentil, Onion, and Rice Dish)

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“This is an easy-to-make, filling, and delicious Middle Eastern dish that uses ingredients from the pantry. I often get compliments on my one-pot version and decided to share it here for those looking for an easy dinner -- or something to bring to the picnic -- that tastes good both hot or at room temperature and reheats well. Various lentils and grains can be substituted. Wild rice gives it a nuttier flavor; bulgar is chewier and softer. Both are delicious in this! Can be served on its own or with a soft white cheese.”
1hr 10mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 medium onions (yellow or red)
  • 2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed (green, brown, or black will all work, but cooking times vary)
  • 2 cups rice (white, brown, or wild, bulgur will also work)
  • 23 cup olive oil (or enough to cover bottom of pan)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt (about 2 tsp)
  • pepper


  1. Roughly chop the onions. In a deep pot, heat the oil and add the onions, stirring to coat them.
  2. Let the onions simmer on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they turn a deep brown or almost black, 15-20 minutes. This is the most important step! It gives most of the flavor to the dish. If necessary, add a little oil to keep the onions from burning.
  3. Add cumin, cinnamon, and lentils; stir and cook for some seconds.
  4. Add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn stove to low heat. Let the lentils simmer until soft (about 25-30 minutes; time varies depending on type of lentil).
  5. Add the rice (or bulgur), salt, and pepper.
  6. Cover the pot. Cook 10 minutes (or according to the rice instructions). Check after 10 minutes to see if the rice is tender / if needs more water. Turn off heat when done, fluff, and let the rice "rest" for another few minutes with the lid on. Add more salt or pepper if needed.

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