Instant Pot Mujadara (Mujaddara) – A signature Middle Eastern dish made with lentils and rice and garnished with crispy fried onions! It is gluten-free, vegan and one of the most comforting one pot meal! It is one of the favorite Vegetarian side dishes and it is a protein-rich filling meal.
Mujadara or Mujaddara translates to a middle eastern staple rice and lentil dish which is an everyday staple in most of the Lebanese home. This lentil and rice pilaf is very simple and made using very basic ingredients.
It is a seriously inexpensive vegetarian meal that would be perfect for your next get-together. And making it in instant pot is really a game changer.
Since it is gluten-free and dairy free, it is also diet-friendly.
The main flavor comes from the fried onions. Fried onion gives a beautiful depth in color and in taste.
Though the recipe is Middle Eastern, you don’t need to take an extra trip to Middle Eastern store to get the ingredients.
The ingredients are very simple and easily available from your pantry or can be found at any local supermarket.
Instant Pot Mujaddara recipe is made with Rice, Lentil, couple of spices and onions. I made this one-pot vegan meal with white basmati rice.
But you can make it with Brown rice, quinoa or even with wild rice. Please read the note section in recipe card for timings and water to lentil/dal ratio.
Here is the brief idea of Instant Pot Mujadara / Lentil and rice pilaf with fried onions.
Scroll down for the ingredient list and print-friendly recipe.
There is no fancy sauce preparations or spending a lot of time in the kitchen for preparing this dish. I simply made Mujadara in 4 easy steps.
Soak Rice and Lentils
Soaking rice and lentil is a very important step. It cooks faster.
Wash and Soak the Brown/green lentil at least 5 hours in hot water.
For rice, I have used Basmati rice. Wash and Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes.
Coarsely grind the whole spices, garlic, and green chili –
To spice this Mujadara recipe, I have used whole spices like Coriander seeds and Cumin seeds. The main flavors come from both spices.
With whole spices, I have added garlic and green chilies. Green chili gives little bit spice punch. You may skip it if you wish to.
Coarsely crush all the ingredients in mortar & pastel or in a blender. Keep it aside.
Add everything and cook until ready.
turn on the Saute mode, add diced onion, crushed Masala paste, soaked lentil, soaked rice, water and salt.
Cover the Instant pot with locking lid, vent valve on sealing position set the timer for 6 minutes under high pressure.
Caramelizing the onions.
While Lentils and rice are in Instant pot, you’ll start caramelizing the onions.
I have made fried onions in a big batch for my Vegetable Biryani couple of months back if you guys remember. I had some leftover in my freezer. So I have used that.
But if you don’t have on hand, you can make fried onions from scratch for Mujadara either in instant pot before cooking rice and lentils or in a separate pan while lentils and rice are simmering, or you can use store bought ones too.
Once 6 minutes is done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.
Open the lid, add fried onions and cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork.
That’s it! Instant pot Mujadara is ready to devour!
This Lebanese Rice and lentil dish is so versatile that you can serve it any day of the year or on any occasion.
You can Enjoy it with Yogurt and some salad on the side. Goes well with Tzatziki sauce too.
Are you Lentil and Rice fan? Try this different yet comforting meal on the weekend or weekday. You will defiantly love this complete and hearty meal. I can tell you, this recipe is a keeper!
Instant Pot Mujadara
- 1 cup - Lentil/Whole Masoor brown or green
- 1 cup - Basmati Rice
- 1 cup - Diced onions
- 1 ½ tablespoon - Coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon - Cumin seeds
- 7-8 cloves - Garlic
- 2 to 3 - Thai green chilies You can use any spicy green chilies according to your taste
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon - Oil
- 2 ½ cup - Water
- 1 cup - Fried onions
- Cilantro or parsley for garnishing
- Wash and Soak the Brown/green lentil at least 5 hours or overnight in hot water.
- Wash and Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes.
- Coarsely grind the Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, and green chilies either in mortar and pastel or in a mixer grinder. Keep this masala paste aside.
- Turn on the Saute mode, add diced onion, crushed Masala paste, soaked lentil, soaked rice, water and salt.
- Cover the Instant pot with locking lid, vent valve on sealing position set the timer for 6 minutes under high pressure.
- Once 6 minutes is done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Open the lid, add fried onions and cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork.
- That's it! Instant pot Mujadara is ready to devour!
- Enjoy it with Yogurt and some salad on the side. Goes well with Tzatziki sauce too.
Substitution for White rice.
- You can use brown rice too instead of basmati rice. If you are using brown rice, you don't need to soak lentils. Increase the water ratio, instead of 2.5 cups, use 3 cups. Wash lentil and brown rice well and cook them(With all the other ingredients) for 22 minutes under high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.
- You may also use quinoa instead of white rice. Just substitute quinoa(don't need to soak) with white rice. Follow the rest of the steps.
- If you want to cook this dish with wild rice, cook it for 40 minutes under high pressure. Increase the water quantity from 2.5 cups to 3.5 cups
Caramelizing onion in Instant PotTurn on saute mode on normal, Heat ¼ cup of oil in instant pot, add 2 cups of sliced onions, fry them until onions are golden brown in color. Take them out and follow the recipe. If you see leftover oil from frying onions in the pot, you can skip adding extra oil. For frying / Caramelizing onion in a separate pan, follow this recipe.
To make this Mujadara on stove top -Simply cook this in a dutch oven or in the heavy bottom pan for about 15 minutes or until rice and dal is cooked perfectly. Check the water in between and add if needed. You may require more water.
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