Mujadara - Healthy - Affordable

Mujadara is one of many dishes cooked with bulgur. It is a staple dish in southern Lebanon. This vegan food is not only affordable but also very healthy. It is rich in proteins, fibers, and low in fat. In the past, people in the south relied on bulgur as a basic ingredient for food.  They used it in a variety of warm and cold dishes.

Give this mujadara a try


Mujadara Ingredients

½ cup brown lentils ¼ cup coarse bulgur 3 medium-sized onions, finely chopped ¼ cup of olive oil and vegetable oil; mix them;  Do not use extra virgin olive oil since it burns at high temperature 1 ½ cup of water Salt to taste ½ teaspoon cumin  

Follow the Mujadara Directions


Mujadara Directions

Place the washed lentils in a pot and add 2 ½ cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid. When the water starts boiling decrease the hit of the oven and simmer the lentils for 15 to 20 minutes (it always depends on the type of lentils). When ready put in a colander and drain. Do not throw the liquid, you will need it later. In a pan heat the oil and cook the onions for about 10 minutes over medium heat and stir every few minutes. Continue to cook until the onion becomes dark brown but not burned. Add to the caramelized onion the water you saved from the drained lentils and let the mix simmer for 2 minutes. Add to the mix the cooked lentils, the bulgur, salt, and cumin while slowly stirring the mixture. Cover with a lid the pop and let it cook over a very low hit for 15 minutes.

Mujadara Directions

Tips & Food Safety Recommendations

If you overcook the lentils, the mujadara will be mushy. Hence, be careful with the cooking time. Caramelize the onion as shown in the recipe. You have to remember that the main taste of this dish comes from the caramelized onion. It is mandatory to use a red look. 

mujadara-nutrition-facts*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Always store at 45 °F to 55°F or  7°C to 12.8°C

You can get food poisoning from any product when surfaces are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, from mixing meat products with vegetables or using contaminates utensils (cross-contamination). Food can be also contaminated if the one who is handling food does not wash their hands properly. Carriers of Hepatitis A, staphylococcus aureus, or other pathogens also can contaminate food.

Lentils have high protein profile, high fiber, and low fat. The boiling process kills most bacteria if there is any. However, B. cereus and C. perfringens may survive the high temperature. If some of those pathogens were initially present, and the lentils were left, 3 days, at room temperature, this will allow sufficient growth of the bacteria. This exponential growth of the pathogens will cause food poisoning. The displayed symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. The onset of the symptoms is 1 to 6 hours and 9 to 16 hours accordingly. Of course, many other bacteria may have been introduced either through cross-contamination or bad storage conditions. 

Bulgur may be contaminated with Aflatoxins- Aflatoxins do pose a serious health risk to humans, such as cancer. Two closely related species of fungi are mainly responsible for producing the aflatoxins of public health significance: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Bulgur also can be contaminated with  Bacillus cereus spore-forming bacterium.

Notable onion pathogens of importance are the gray mold fungi, Botrytis species; The black mold fungi, Aspergillus species; The blue mold fungi, Penicillium species; bacterial rot, Erwinia species; bacterial rot, Pseudomonas species.

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