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Mujadarra Bowls with Tahini Yogurt

Mujadarra Bowls with Tahini Yogurt

40 MIN

To keep this classic Middle Eastern lentils and rice dish weeknight-friendly, slice the onions and steam the brown rice in advance. I also recommend taking advantage of pre-cooked lentils (look for them in the refrigerated section) to save major time. Meatless Monday or not, this is one of the most crave-worthy plant-based comfort foods I can think of.

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 5 cups thinly sliced onions (about 3 medium onions) 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups cooked lentils*
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro)
  • 2 heads romaine, chopped 
Tahini Yogurt:
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 pressed clove) 

*I like Melissa’s steamed lentils or Trader Joes steamed lentils (look for them in the refrigerated section); a 1-pound package yields about 3 cups. See recipe notes for instructions on cooking dried lentils.


Prepare brown rice according to package directions; set aside. 

In a heavy skillet (not nonstick) with lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 1 minute, until onions are coated in oil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until onions are a deep golden brown color. Add cumin seeds, paprika, and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute more. Deglaze pan with 2 tablespoons of water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the caramelized bits from the pan.

Gently fold in the cooked lentils. Season to taste with salt (I add about 1/2 teaspoon), then fold in the herbs. 

To make the Tahini Yogurt, combine all ingredients (yogurt through garlic powder) in a small dish and whisk to combine. 

To serve: Divide the chopped romaine into bowls (you can lightly dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt if you prefer). Top with a scoop of brown rice, followed by the lentil onion mixture. Drizzle with sauce and top with extra chopped herbs if you like. 

Serves 4. 

How to Cook Lentils

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water (or stock) and 1 cup of dried brown or green lentils to a boil. Toss in a bay leaf, but don’t salt yet. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain any remaining water and remove bay leaf. Season with salt to taste. Yields 2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked lentils.

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