Mjadara pilafDespite that bad name it gets from crappy cafeteria food, homemade rice pilaf is a delightful, easy-to-make dish cooked in broth and spices. It is wonderful as a leftover lunch for the next day, with flavors that are even better after a night in the fridge.  On top of that it’s gluten free and vegan and filled with protein. I made it the other night with a green salad and pan roasted baby carrots, and my husband loved it.

The original way of making this pilaf is to soak the rice the day before, which entails a little planning – but I have also made this dish without presoaked rice and it is still delicious. The recipe is made for both alternatives (In case you didn’t know, soaking the brown rice prior to cooking releases beneficial enzymes in the grain, and also increases its digestibility. The same applies to other whole grains, such as oats, quinoa or barley).

Thank you to Suzanne Husseini, who I adapted this recipe from. rice n lentil pilaf

Mujaddara rice and lentil pilaf
Serves 6
341 calories
52 g
0 g
10 g
11 g
2 g
291 g
856 g
4 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 341
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 856mg
Total Carbohydrates 52g
Dietary Fiber 12g
Sugars 4g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 1 cup (236 ml) du Puy (also known as green/French lentils) or brown lentils, rinsed
  2. • 4 cups (950 ml) vegetable stock (if rice is presoaked) or 5 ½ cups (1300 ml) stock (for dry rice);
  3. store bought is fine
  4. • ¼ cup of olive oil
  5. • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  6. • 1 cup (236 ml) brown rice
  7. • 1 teaspoon allspice (also known as allehånde in Skandinavia)
  8. • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. • Salt and pepper
For Garnish
  1. • ½ teaspoon salt
  2. • 2 onions, sliced in thin rounds
  3. • Peanut oil, for deep frying
  4. • 2 scallions, sliced in small pieces
  1. 1. Pre-soak the rice (optional, but better for your body and health). If you choose to presoak the rice, put the rice in a medium bowl with 3 cups of filtered water and let it stand at room temperature overnight, or for 8-12 hours.
  2. 2. Rinse the lentils and put them in a medium pot with vegetable stock over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook the lentils to ‘al dente’, or for about 10 minutes.
  3. 3. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan and then add the chopped onion. Sauté over medium-low heat until onions are soft.
  4. 4. Combine the sautéed onions, soaked rice, into the pot of cooked lentils along with allspice, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and let it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Leave the lid on until ready to serve.
  5. 5. Optional:If you want to save some time you can skip this part and buy store bought French’s fried onions instead.
  6. While the rice and lentils are cooking, cut the other 2 onions and spread them out on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for about 5 minutes. Wash the onions with cold water, drain well, and then spin the onions in a salad spinner until dry or pat them dry with a clean dishtowel. 1. Fill a saucepan about two inches high with peanut oil, heat through, and then add the onions to fry until crisp and golden. Use a slotted spoon or chopsticks to transfer the onions to drain on a piece of paper towel.
  7. 6. Before serving the rice pilaf, toss and mix in with the scallions, and sprinkle the crispy onions on top for garnish.
Adapted from Suzanne Husseini
Adapted from Suzanne Husseini
DiepLicious https://dieplicious.com/
Links to pictures/useful knowledge: Puy lentils  (also known as green or French lentils), brown lentils, allspice (also known as allehånde in Skandinavia)

Mjadara pilaf

Tina Diep

I LOVE FOOD and better yet I LOVE TO COOK.

I can thank my Vietnamese roots. Vietnamese people use a great amount of time cooking and eating, traits which they have learned from their families. Everyone seems to know how to cook, and they are adept at picking fresh and quality foods from the market. Food is a priority in Vietnam – if you eat well, you live well.

I was born in Denmark, and in my mind I am a true Dane. Danish people cook a lot as well, but they prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. I consider myself Vietnamese from a culinary standpoint and Danish from a cultural standpoint (and I live in New York, which is a Mecca for foodies).

My mum is a great cook, she taught me how to chop vegetables and how to just randomly throw things together and somehow get an awesome meal. She makes cooking seem like art, and she is my inspiration for DiepLicious cooking.

My husband loves food as well and he has a great appetite. Cooking for him is a real joy. He has a great interest in everything that concerns health, and loves to point out specific foods and why they are good for you to eat. I will share his knowledge with you. He makes my cooking more challenging, but also a lot healthier.

I offer you one Golden Rule: to enjoy food fully, always taste the food even if you don’t like it. For me it takes a couple of tries to get to know the real flavor.


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