Thursday, May 27, 2010


photo is mine

recipe taken from:


serves 6

3/4 cup brown or black lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
2 onions
More olive oil
1 tsp. powdered cumin
salt, pepper to taste

1. Pick over and rinse the lentils. Simmer them in the water, with the bay leaf, till they are soft but not mushy. Depending on the quality of the lentils, this might take 30-40 minutes. Do not add salt. Add more water if it looks like they’re drying out, but if they finish cooking and there’s water left over, just drain them and return them to the pot.

Add salt to taste after the lentils are done. Remove the bay leaf.

1 1/2 cups rice
2 Tblsp. olive oil
3 cups water, boiling
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Rinse the rice and allow it to drain almost dry.
2. Heat the oil gently and add the rice, stirring to coat the grains with oil.
3. When the rice has become transparent, add the garlic. Stir half a minute, then add the salt and the water.
4. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the flame to the lowest setting. Cook the rice till all the water has evaporated and the grains are tender and separate.

Now slice the onions thinly.

Pour 2 Tblsp. olive oil into a non-stick pan and carmelize the onions over the lowest possible flame, stirring once in a while. You want them very soft and golden, not brown and crisp.

When the onions are done – 10-15 minutes – add the cumin and a little salt and pepper.

Final step: fluff the rice with a fork. Combine the cooked lentils and the rice, mixing gently with the fork so as not to mash them. Stir some of the carmelized onion in, and top the dish with the rest of the onions.


•I’ve never seen a recipe including cilantro, but occasionally I chop 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves and add them to the onions a minute before taking them off the flame.

•Another thing I sometimes do is add a little powdered turmeric to the onions.

•You can also add small amounts 1/4- 1/2 tsp. - of grated fresh ginger root and powdered cinnamon, if the fit takes you; that’s also traditional in some countries.

•Majadra is even more delicious if you carmelize the onions in a mixture of butter and olive oil, or drizzle a little melted butter over the dish before serving. Owch – that wasn’t a calorie pinching me, was it?


  1. Yum, this looks delish! I love lentils, cooking with them and their role in food throughout the ages is just wonderful. Don't you just love eating ancient ingredients. . .

  2. Hi, Earthmama,

    I'm flattered to have my recipe re-printed in full here. To view other recipes and see some of Israel, please visit Israeli Kitchen: