Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Pearl Barley Mujadarra

We are really lucky to live nearby to a really amazing Middle Eastern grocery store.
One of the first discoveries we made there many many years ago now is a dish called Mujadarra.

It is a traditional Middle eastern dish that varies from country to country but is essentially a dish of Lentils & Rice. YUM.
Comfort in a bowl.

One of my boys in particular would happily eat this dish for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
And very often does.

There is a lot to be said for the Middle Eastern diet- it is heavily based on eating grains & plants and some meat every now & then.
Super nutritious & very filling.
And BOY do they know how to flavour dishes.
Middle Eastern food is amongst my very fave style of food.
Simple good produce flavoured well with spices & loads of fresh herbs.
You cant really go wrong I don't think.

It is delicious hot or cold & makes a great basis for salads or as a side dish for roast dinners or BBQ meats.
We love it topped with a crispy edged fried egg or some pan fried chicken.

Or if you are my son- straight from it's container in the fridge!

I have a bit of an obsession with Pearl Barley.
I can not get enough of it.
I started substituting the rice in Mujadarra when I had no rice & I preferred the slightly nutty firm texture so haven't looked back.
Feel free to substitute the pearl barley for Brown Rice.


  • 2 cups cooked Pearl Barley (or Brown Rice)
  • 1 cup cooked French Green lentils
  • 4 large brown onions, sliced as finely as possible
  • 1 cup good quality chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Sumac
  • loads of fresh coriander, mint or parsley (or all)
Pre-cook all the grains as per instructions, drain & set aside.

In a large fry pan heat oil & butter (these are mixed together so the butter does not burn) until it melts.
Heat to high & add finely sliced onions. Once translucent, reduce the temperature & continue to fry until the onions are browned- this may take up to twenty minutes.
Right at the end add the cumin seeds and cook through for another minute or so until the cumin is fragrant.

Set some of the cooked onion aside to top your dish.

Add the pre-cooked grains into the remaining pan and stir well.
Add a cup of boiling chicken stock and stir well until the stock is soaked into the grains.
Finally add fresh herbs, stir through & serve with some of the reserved Golden Onions & sprinkle the Sumac over the top.

I always look like this when I rollerskate.
Do you?


  1. This sounds delicious Ruth! I love pearl barley but my peeps aren't overly keen on it & I'm always looking for ways to get more pulses in our diet too. Pinning it for next weeks meal plan xx

  2. Oh GG this is an amazing variation, I make the Ottolenghi one in Jerusalem and have to triple quantities to keep up with the family's consumption and need for leftovers. I will definitely be trying this. So love your posts and that Middle Eastern bakery/grocer you speak of is just the best.

  3. sounds yum.
    as for the roller skating....pretty sure I've never looked like that..ever!

  4. It really is so yum!
    Ps. That comment was made with tongue FIRMLY in cheek Kate.

  5. Oh I need to look at the Ottolenghi one!
    He is the BEST.

  6. Can't wait to hear how it goes Reannon. X

  7. I know GG, I was being facetious..

  8. We need an *ironic* keyboard don't we!
    our jokes are getting lost in the interwebs dang it!
    bless ya for being a good sport.

  9. Fantastic recipe, thanks. I cooked it last night and my husband insisted on cooking it again tonight... himself! And he only enters the kitchen twice a year. So you are the reason I'm sitting at the computer with a glass of wine at 5pm x

  10. This is a ridiculous question I know but is this very lentil-y tasting? I know I would love it but I'm not sure the little ppl will agree. And how on earth do you make a crispy egg! That looks delish! TIA


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