I love warm comforting meals, especially when it comes in one pot. This has become one of my favourite rice dishes. It reminds me of the Indian biriyani with a different spice profile. Mejadra is a Middle Eastern dish made with rice, lentils, nuts, and warming spices like cinnamon and allspice. It’s wonderfully flavorful and has a subtle sweetness to it.

This is defiantly something special to serve when entertaining or make a big batch of it and enjoy the leftovers. It’s just as good the next day.



Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6 servings


  • 540 ml can of lentils drained and rinsed
  • 6 shallots thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cashew pieces
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • tbsp coriander seeds grinded
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • tsp ground allspice
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt plus more for taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper plus more for taste


  • Peel the shallots and slice thinly.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a braiser placed over medium heat. Fry the shallots until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once shallots are caramelized, add cashews to pan and toast at for 3 mins.  
  • Remove the shallots and cashews from the pan. Put in a bowl and set aside.  
  • Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add in the cumin and coriander seeds.
    Place over medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute.
  • Add the rice, mix to coat grains with oil. Add turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix well. 
  • Add the lentils and the water. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Once done, add the fried onion and cashews to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork.
  • Serve immediately.


If you don’t have a braiser and heavy bottomed saucepan will do. 

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