There are many variations to the old Palestinian dish of Mujadarra. The first recorded recipe appears in a cookbook composed in 1226 by Al Baghdadi in Iraq. Containing rice, lentils, and meat, it was served this way during celebrations.  Without meat, it was a medieval Arab dish commonly consumed by the poor. In Palestine this dish is not usually served with meat to guests. It is often made as a vegetarian family meal, particularly amongst Arab Christians during the time of lent.  Although I love the traditional recipe, I like it light with quinoa. Here is a modern take of this primitive recipe that was inspired by renown Palestinian chef, Joudie Kalla.

Preperation Time

  • 25 minutes (soaking time is 20 minutes) 

Cooking Time

  • 45 minutes


  •  4-6 pax


  • 2 cups of brown lentils
  • 1 ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1tbsp. ground coriander
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Pomegranate seeds and Arugula (optional toppings)
  • Optional sides: Farmers salad, pomegranate seeds, yogurt, chili and garlic oil, toasted flat bread


  • Rinse lentils well and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.
  • Cook lentils, cumin, 1tsp salt and 3 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Fry onions with Sun flower oil until they are caramelized and set aside making sure they are not to oil and dried.
  • Cook quinoa with coriander spice until ready.
  • When the lentils and quiona are ready mix together adding lemon juice and olive oil
  • Finally mix in the arugula, fried onions and pomegranate seeds, top it with onions
  • Serve warm.

Mujadarra & Quinoa



Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.

She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.

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