Savoury Lebanese lentil porridge is known as Mujadara Makhbousa. A wholesome, warming bowl of goodness made with lentils and rice.
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Another traditional mujadara recipe that we loved as kids.
It’s a delicious savoury porridge made with the same ingredients (plus vegetable stock) as the lentils and rice mujadara version, yet the quantities are different. Check out the different types of mujadara.
It excludes caramelised onion and it’s blended. Resulting in a completely different meal.
Now you might be used to your homemade porridge being a (sweet) breakfast meal, but in fact there are several types of porridges in the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern diet.
These feature sweet and savoury ingredients from fruit, vegetables, meats which are typically mixed with some form of grain such as rice, wheat and pearl barley.
Mujadara Makhbousa is known as a poor man’s food, as it is very cost effective to make.
It is also called Mjadara Msafaya, prior to when blenders were invented, this was made manually using a hand held food mill/mincer.
What I love about this meal, aside from the flavour;
- You don’t need to eat a lot of it to feel full
- It’s nourishing and wholesome
- It can be made in one pot
- It’s quick and easy!
- Mujadara is naturally gluten free and this recipe is also vegan friendly. So it caters for some special diets too
The literal translation of the word makhbousa is mush, everything mixed together in a nonsensical manner. This is why this recipe is fabulous, only one pot is needed and everything is thrown in together.
Did you know there a couple of other types of mujadara recipes that you must try;
- Mujadara recipe for lentils and rice pilaf
- Mujadara hamra for lentils and bulgur
- Mujadara safra - red lentils and rice
Honestly, you should try all varieties and figure out which is your favourite. I personally love to cook all of these, I'm living life large haha.
Let me know which is your favourite below in the comments.
This lentil porridge is served warm
Mum always pairs lentil porridge with stuffed kibbeh balls, which I am yet to share, but you should check out this Lebanese kibbeh recipe. We love dipping our kibbeh into the porridge.
Enjoy with a simple side salad, or tabouli or with cut up vegetables, we always have radish, fresh white onion and cucumbers.
Or read this round-up of what to serve with mujadara.
Immersion blender* - you’ll need this to blend the contents into a porridge. If you don't have one these, you could do it the old fashion way through a food mill*
Brown lentils - use the dry variety, some know this lentil as green lentil. Wash, sort and pre-soak lentils for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
Water - I always use room temp filtered water
Vegetable stock - I like to use the brand Massel* it’s plant based. What I love about Massel*, is that they have chicken and beef flavours too (all plant
White rice - jasmine or basmati are good
Brown onion - I find this onion to lends the best flavour in this recipe
Olive oil - always opt for extra virgin
Parsley - use fresh always to garnish
Salt - I like to use pink salt or sea salt, this may not be needed as the vegetable stock contains ample salty-ness
Step 1 - In a pot, heat up olive oil on high heat
Step 2 - Add onion and sweat until golden
Step 3 - Add lentils, stock and water and bring to the boil, turn heat to medium and simmer until lentils are par boiled
Step 4 - Add rice and allow to cook
Step 5 - Once all cooked, use an immersion blender to blend contents until smooth
Step 6 - serve warm in a boil and garnish with parsley
Wash lentils in cold water
Pre-soaking lentils isn’t mandatory, but I like to do this as it speeds up the cooking process
Pre-soaking rice also isn’t mandatory but you can do this. My mum does this, I do not.
Whilst cooking, keep an eye out on the water levels, you may need to add more water
This savoury porridge will thicken into a pudding as it cools
Sometimes I like to thin out my porridge by simply adding a couple of spoon fulls of water before reheating
Refrigerate sealed in a container for up to five days, reheat as you would any other soup or porridge
Optional: serve with some fresh lemon juice
To make this recipe oil free - use a bit of veggie stock instead to sweat onion
For more lentils, use half the amount of rice
If you’d like it a bit chunkier, just let the lentils and rice naturally become mushy in the pot (basically when the rice starts to break apart) by cooking a little longer and serving it without blending
Spices - whilst this recipe doesn’t require any added spices as it has loads of flavour already, you can add a touch of cumin and Lebanese 7 spice if you desire.
As the lentil porridge cools down, it will naturally form a skin due to the starch in the rice. Mix porridge prior to heating up and serving.
🔖Other Lentil Recipes
If you love lentil recipes then you should definitely try Lebanese lentil soup or lemon lentil soup. It’s a vegetable and lentil soup that our whole family adores. It makes the best winter warmer.
One of my childhood favourites is lentils and pasta soup called rishta.
You should also try barley porridge made with curry and red lentils.
For a rice meal, you must check out Malfouf - this is Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls and it's so good! Or if you are a legume lover, try my easy curried mung beans.
Lentil Porridge (Mujadara Makhbousa)
- 1½ cups Brown Lentils dry variety
- 2 cups Vegetable Stock
- 4-5 cups Water
- 1 medium Brown onion finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Parsely finely chopped (heaped)
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1 cup White Rice Basmati or jasmine
- In a pot, heat up olive oil on high heat, add onion and sweat until golden
- Add lentils, stock and water and bring to the boil, turn heat to medium and simmer until lentils are par boiled
- Add rice and allow to cook
- Once all cooked, use an immersion blender to blend contents until smooth
- Serve warm in a boil
- Wash lentils in cold water
- Pre-soaking lentils and rice isn’t mandatory, but it'll speed up the cooking process
- Porridge will thicken into a pudding as it cools
- Add a little bit of water and mix before reheating, this will help to thin out the poriddge
- Refrigerate sealed in a container for up to five days, reheat as you would any other soup or porridge
- Optional: serve with some fresh lemon juice
- As the lentil porridge cools down, it will naturally form a skin due to the starch in the rice. Mix porridge prior to heating up and serving.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
Loved that this was gluten free, and the step by step photos were great too.
Such a great recipe. It is so hearty and simple. The weather is rainy and miserable here at the moment and this just makes feel all warm inside. Thanks Janelle for tasty new favourite recipe.
this lentil dish turned out sooo good! the flavor was amazing and it was perfect for a light yet filling meal!
I'd like to use brown jasmine rice. Do you think I should add it at the same time as I add the lentils, or do you think I should parboil it and then proceed with your directions?
Thank you! I love your recipe for okra stew! So glad I found this site and so is my Beiruti husband!
I've never tried it with brown rice, it would be delish I bet!
I think either way should work, as you are blending the porridge, as long as the rice is cooked through, it will be fine.
Thank you for your kind words, I love bamia too - I am overjoyed you guys enjoy the recipes!!!
Like a hug in a bowl. Love the spices and flavour combo
I have never heard of lentil porridge, but this recipe is incredible!! Love trying out new foods So cozy.
Loved this recipe. It was surprisingly easy to make. I made a double batch, and I'm glad I did!
This lentil porridge was so delicious! I loved how easy it was to make and it was so hearty and filling!
Oh, I need to make this lentil porridge for my family all the time, this was delicious and so hearty! Perfect for Fall!
This is thick and delicious. Very easy to make. I made it and there was enough for a few days. Put it in fridge and had it again.
Do you think freezer will work?
I am not sure about freezer options for this recipe as we normally eat ours within a few days.