Explore the world of the different types of Mujadara. All variations have one common denominator, they must include lentils which are coupled with either rice or bulgur.
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First let’s clear things up...
What is the difference between mujadara and mdardara?
Both Middle Eastern dishes mujadara and mdardara use the same ingredients (lentils, onion, rice or wheat (bulgur)), but different ratios and the method of cooking is different.
Mujadara is a moist pudding-like consistency as the lentils are generally the predominant ingredient and only a small quantity of rice is cooked together.
Here's a version mujadara.
Whereas mdardara is a pilaf. The lentils are par-cooked prior to adding the rice, which are similar in ratio, and the grains remain intact and fluffy.
Check out this lentils and rice recipe.
It is important to note, that the names of these are used interchangeably depending on the region/country.
This can be a tad confusing.
For example, my Lebanese family (from the north), refers to the pilaf version as mujadara rather than mdardara.
Where did Mujadara originate?
Mujadara is believed to have first been documented in the oldest surviving Arabic cookbook “Kitab al-Ṭabīkh” which translates to “Book of Dishes” in English.
It was written by Abū Muḥammad al-Muẓaffar ibn Naṣr Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq in the 10th century. A writer from ancient Baghdad.
Whilst a true mujadara recipe requires no additional flavorings, as the flavor comes from the use of onions, lentils, and oil which are enhanced with salt.
Some variations may call for the use of spices.
An example of this is mujadara safra without oil (accommodating those following a low-fat diet), to boost the flavor a touch of cumin and Lebanese 7 spice is used.
Types of Mujadara Recipes
You might be interested to know what to serve with mujadara, mostly paired with fresh or pickled vegetables, this listicle post helps to illustrate some of my Lebanese family's favorite sides.
What's your favorite type of mujadara? Comment below.
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I had no idea. I am an Arab, but I was born outside of the Middle East. I’ve always had mujadara as a pilaf… I am looking forward to trying the safra version.
I stumbled upon your site as I have recently turned to a vegan and oil free diet, I can no longer tolerate a lot of foods and need to clean up my diet.
Thanks for your site.