Have you ever tried mujadara? If not, you’re totally missing out.
What is Mujadara?
Mujadara is a satisfying vegetarian dish with Middle Eastern and Arab influences. It’s traditionally made with rice, lentils, and caramelized onions, making it incredibly affordable and satisfying (and naturally plant-based!).
The spices can range in simplicity from just salt, pepper, and cumin to more complex flavors like cinnamon, lemon peel, and cayenne pepper.
Learn more about mujadara’s origins here, and find a more traditional preparation of the dish here!
What Makes our Version Unique?
- It’s not traditional and rather inspired by the concept!
- It’s made with cauliflower rice instead of rice to keep it grain-free.
- It’s made with way less oil (with options to make it completely oil-free!).
- The spices are simplified as we rely on cumin, coriander, and our go-to DIY Curry Powder.
- The shallots are crispy instead of soft to add more texture!
- We include optional dates at the end for a bit of sweet to balance out the salt.
To start, cook your lentils in vegetable broth so they get tender and flavorful but not mushy. Then prepare your shallots!
To keep this recipe grain-free we opted to toss our shallots in chickpea flour and salt and use cauliflower rice instead of rice.
To keep this recipe low/no oil, we include options for baking instead of pan-frying so the shallots still get nice and golden brown without the extra oil.
If you’d prefer more tender vs. crispy shallot, simply pan sauté (opting out of the crispy coating) in a little oil or water over medium-low heat until golden brown and tender.
Once your lentils and shallot are prepared, all that’s left to do is cook your cauliflower rice.
Sauté with curry powder and cumin seed, the cooked lentils, and half of the crispy shallot, reserving the remaining shallot for serving!
We hope you love this dish! It’s:
Easy to make
& Incredibly delicious
This would make the perfect dish for when you’re craving quick comfort. If you’re wondering what to pair it with, we’ve got you covered.
What to Pair with Mujadara
- Hummus from Scratch
- Classic Vegan Falafel (GF)
- Simple Baba Ganoush
- Hemp Seed Tabbouleh Salad
- Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan Lentil Fesenjan
Try this recipe? Let us know by leaving a comment and rating, and tagging a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! Cheers, friends.
Curried Cauliflower Rice with Lentils & Crispy Shallot (Mujadara-Inspired)
- 3/4 cup green or brown lentils* (we recommend soaking overnight or buying sprouted)
- 2 ¼ cups (low sodium) vegetable broth (sub up to 1/2 with water — RESERVE remaining liquid after cooking)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, “riced” (~4 cups as recipe is written)
- 2 cups thinly sliced shallot (or sub diced onion)
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour (or brown rice flour or all purpose flour if not grain-free)
- 1/2 heaping tsp sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil, or more as needed (see notes on reducing or omitting oil)
- 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil (or sub water)
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1-2 Tbsp Curry Powder (or sub store-bought)
- Sea salt to taste (~1/2 tsp as recipe is written)
- 2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped (optional)
FOR SERVING optional
- Lemon juice
- Fresh parsley
- Pomegranate arils
- Start by cooking lentils (see notes if using canned). Add rinsed and drained lentils to a small saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are just tender with a very slight bite — about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove lentils from heat but don’t drain yet. Set a fine mesh strainer or colander over a mixing bowl and strain the lentils, SAVING the vegetable broth for later use!
- Next, using a fine box grater or the grater attachment on your food processor, prepare your cauliflower rice if you haven’t already. See this post for more detailed instructions. Set aside.
- Next, add sliced shallot to a small mixing bowl and toss to coat with chickpea flour and sea salt. Set aside. NOTE: If you’d prefer more tender shallot, simply pan sauté (omitting the crispy coating mixture) in a little oil or water over medium-low heat until golden brown and tender. See notes for low/no-oil option.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (starting with the lesser amount) and only as many shallot pieces as will fit comfortably in the pan. Sauté until crispy and brown, stirring frequently — about 4-5 minutes. Repeat as needed, adding more oil and shallots to the pan until all are cooked. Remove half of the shallot from the pan and set aside for later use.
- To the skillet with the remaining shallot, add a bit more oil (or water). Then add coriander and cumin seed and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add cooked drained lentils and season with a few pinches of sea salt. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add cauliflower rice, curry powder (starting with the lower amount and working your way up), a healthy pinch of sea salt, and the remaining crispy shallot set aside from earlier (reserving a few spoonfuls for garnish if desired). Add a few Tbsp (~45 ml) of the reserved lentil vegetable broth at a time until the cauliflower rice appears moistened. You don’t want it to be soggy, just slightly moistened.
- Add dates (optional) at this time and stir again to combine. Continue sautéing over medium heat uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes, or until cauliflower rice is tender and golden brown.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt or curry powder to taste or broth for moisture.
- Garnish with any remaining crispy shallot (optional), lemon wedges, fresh parsley, and/or pomegranate arils (optional) and serve.
- Best when fresh, though leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days and be reheated on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
*For a lower / no oil option: Add the seasoned/breaded shallot to a baking sheet and spritz lightly with avocado oil (or omit oil altogether). Bake in a 400 degree F (204 C) oven for 7-10 minutes (stirring occasionally for even cooking) or until the onions are crispy and golden brown (be careful not to burn them).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with low sodium vegetable broth, the lesser amounts of avocado oil, and without optional ingredients.
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