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Mujadara Hamra is a delicious and hearty Lebanese dish that is perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It consists of caramelized onions, lentils, bulgur, and warm spices that create a rich and savory flavor. This dish is easy to prepare and highly nutritious, as it’s a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.
Table of Contents
- What is mujadara hamra
- Why you’ll love this Mujadara recipe with bulgur
- Mujardara hamra ingredients
- How to make mujadara hamra
- Tips for the best mujadara with lentils and bulgur
- Popular substitutions & additions
- What to serve with Lebanese mujadara hamra
- How to store & reheat mujadara hamra
- Frequently asked questions
- More Lebanese recipes:
- Mujadara Hamra Recipe
Whether you’re looking for a satisfying main course or a flavorful side dish, mujadara hamra is a great option that will impress your family and friends. By following my simple recipe, you can learn the traditional way of making mujadara hamra at home using basic ingredients and easy-to-follow steps.
What is mujadara hamra
Mujadara Hamra is a variation of the traditional Lebanese dish “mujadara,” which is made with lentils, rice, and deeply caramelized onions. In “mujadara hamra,” you’ll find bulgur wheat in place of the rice, and I like to add the onions in directly instead of frying and then layering on top as I do with mujadara.
The lentils are then cooked with the onions until halfway done, and then the bulgur is added to finish cooking. Finally, the dish is fluffed together with cumin for additional flavor. This variation of mujadara has a distinct, rich flavor and is often served as a main or side dish in Lebanese cuisine.
Why you’ll love this Mujadara recipe with bulgur
- Cozy and authentic dish. Mujadara hamra is Lebanese comfort food with warm, hearty flavors that are hard to resist. It’s the perfect dish to enjoy on a cozy night.
- Nutritious and delicious. Mujadara hamra features simple, wholesome ingredients that are packed with nutrients. Lentils provide plant-based protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, while bulgur is a high-fiber whole grain that’s low in fat and calories.
- Versatile and inexpensive. This Lebanese rice and bulger recipe is an affordable and versatile dish that is hearty enough as a main course or a side dish. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive, making it a budget-friendly option for home-cooked meals.
Mujardara hamra ingredients
- Onions: The onions are where the base flavor of mujadara hamra begins. You will cook the chopped yellow onions until deeply caramelized and richly browned.
- Lentils: I use brown lentils, but you could also use red lentils if you prefer. You want to make sure to rinse them well and pick through them in case there are any small pebbles in the bag.
- Bulgur: I use coarse bulgur #3 because it is a larger grain and compliments the lentils.
- Oil: Choose a neutral oil, such as avocado oil, that has a higher smoke point. This is ideal for cooking the onions over high heat for a long period of time.
- Cumin: Lebanese cuisine relies heavily on this warm and earthy spice, which infuses this bulgur and lentil with a warm and earthy spice.
How to make mujadara hamra
- Add oil and heat the chopped onions over a consistent high heat, stirring constantly.
- Continue to cook the onions until deeply browned.
- Add the lentils on top of the onions, season with salt, and stir to combine.
- Add water and bring to a boil. You will then reduce the heat and cover it with a tight-fitting lid.
- After halfway through cooking the lentils, stir in the bulgur and continue cooking.
- Before removing the lid, transfer the pan off the heat and let it rest for a few more minutes. You can then remove the lid, sprinkle in the cumin, and fluff the mujadara lentil and bulgur mixture with a fork.
Tips for the best mujadara with lentils and bulgur
- Caramelize the onions well. The onions are a key component of this dish, and it’s important to cook them until they are deeply browned to get the rich, sweet flavor. Be patient and don’t rush the process; caramelizing onions properly can take up to 30 minutes.
- Add the bulgur at the right time. To make sure that both the bulgur and lentils are fully cooked and tender, add the bulgur to the lentil and onion mixture when the lentils are about halfway cooked.
- Don’t skip the cumin! This spice is essential to mujadara hamra and adds a warm, earthy flavor to the dish.
- Use a fork to fluff the mixture. This helps separate the bulgur and lentil grains, giving them a light and fluffy texture while evenly distributing any spices or seasonings added to the dish. It also helps to prevent the grains from becoming mushy or sticky, resulting in a perfect texture.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Use rice instead of bulgur. If you don’t have bulgur on hand but want to try this easy cumin lentil recipe, try using long-grain rice, such as basmati, instead. The cooking time should be similar, but adjust as needed.
- Make it spicy. You can add chili powder, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes to the dish while cooking. You can also use spicy paprika or harissa paste for added heat. Adjust the amount of spice to your desired level, starting with a small amount and gradually adding more as needed.
- Serve with yogurt. Adding a dollop of plain yogurt on top of the dish can provide a cool and creamy contrast to the warm and hearty flavors.
- Serve with fresh or pickled vegetables. The crisp and tangy flavors will contrast the savory Mujadara lentil and bulgur dish. Try it with sliced radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled turnips, or pickled onions for a refreshing crunch to the dish.
What to serve with Lebanese mujadara hamra
How to store & reheat mujadara hamra
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, add to a pot with a splash of water or broth over low heat until warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
How long will lentils and bulgur last in the fridge?
Mujadara hamra will last in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Can I freeze lentils and bulgur?
You can freeze the mujadara hamra for up to 3 months by storing it in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave until heated through.
Frequently asked questions
Bulgur wheat is a nutritious whole grain commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It is made from cracked and partially cooked wheat berries, usually of the durum wheat variety. With a nutty flavor and chewy texture, it is considered a staple ingredient in these regions, providing an abundance of fiber, protein, and essential nutrients.
Yes, you can either use a different spice or leave it out, though it will change the overall flavor of this Lebanese dish. You can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of ground coriander, 7 spice, chili powder, curry powder, turmeric, ground caraway, or paprika.
Yes, it can be made with other types of lentils, such as green or red lentils, but you may need to adjust the cooking time as red lentils are smaller and will cook quicker.
Lebanese mujadara hamra is a delicious and comforting dish that is both hearty and made with good-for-you ingredients. With its blend of earthy lentils, nutty bulgur wheat, and caramelized onions, it’s a dish that satisfies the taste buds. Whether served as a main dish or a side dish, this traditional mujadara recipe is a versatile and flavorful option for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking for a delicious and nutritious meal.
More Lebanese recipes:
- Beef Kofta
- Baked Kibbeh
- Middle Eastern Spinach Stew
- Falafel Recipe
- Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Lebanese Crushed Lentil Soup
- Lebanese Chicken Fatteh
- Fish Sayadieh Recipe
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- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 large yellow onions finely chopped
- 1½ cups brown lentils rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup coarse bulgur #3 rinsed and drained
- 5 cups water
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are deeply browned, 25-30 minutes.
- Add the lentils on top of the onions, season with salt, and stir to combine everything together, about 1 minute.
- Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid, stir in the bulgur and then cover again with the lid and cook for another 25 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Rest, covered, for 5 minutes longer. Fluff the mixture with a fork and stir in the cumin. Serve warm.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Yum! Love Mujadara. Our local Lebanese restaurant, Neomonde here in Raleigh, North Carolina, introduced me to this wonderful lebanese dish!
It is so good! I agree!