Rice and Lentil Pilaf Topped Bell Pepper Dish Known as Mujadarah

Food and Recipes


Rice and Lentil Pilaf Topped Bell Pepper Dish Known as Mujadarah

by Noor H. Salem

Mujadarah is a rice and brown lentil pilaf, usually topped with caramelized onions and served with plain yogurt. Since I’ve been sharing remarkable health benefits of bell peppers, it’s a great time to share this unique recipe with you as well! It’s one of the numerous recipes I share in my book, “Sunnah Superfoods.”

Bell peppers not only add a nice touch of color to this dish but a subtly sweet flavor, too. They pair well with lentils and rice and adding a side of salad and plain yogurt completes turns this vegetarian dish into a mouthwatering meal. While a part of me feels some guilt changing traditional dishes to such degree, it diminishes as I realize the nutritional and health benefits have boosted immensely.

I enjoy making Mujadarah often, since lentils are extremely high in protein, and perfect for a vegetarian night meal. Along with being extremely high in protein, lentils are bursting in fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, and more. This meal is also very high in healthy fats, granting you satiety after eating it. Originally, the onions would be caramelized in olive oil, but I’ve tweaked it in which the olive oil is drizzled atop the lentils and rice post-cooking. This is since olive oil has a low smoke point, in other words, it’s best not to use it for high-heat cooking.

Try this recipe, and you’ll realize you can have a delicious and satisfying meal that happens to be vegetarian.


3 cups brown lentils, presoaked 2-3 hours if possible

1 cup basmati brown rice

10 medium sized onions

3 bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow)

2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt

4 tablespoons organic coconut oil

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup fresh parsley

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Fill a cooking pot with about 7 cups water, and allow it to boil on high heat.
  2. Add in the brown lentils and allow cooking for about 10 minutes on high heat.
  3. While waiting, peel and slice the onions and pepper.
  4. In a skillet, cook the onions, peppers, and garlic with the coconut oil until tender and golden in color. Set aside.
  5. Add the spices to the brown lentils and stir. Once the lentils are soft and tender, add the rice.
  6. Cover and cook on high-heat for about 7-10 minutes, or until the rice begins to show above the water. Lower the heat to the lowest degree, and leave for about 12 more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and place in a serving platter.
  8. Top with the onion-pepper mixture. Garnish with the fresh parsley. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil; serve warm. Pairs perfect with a side salad and plain yogurt.

Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.

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