Oil Free Majadra with Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
No Guilt Lebanese Food Made at Home

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Oil Free Majadra with Vegan Tzatziki Sauce

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Adjust Servings:
1 1/4 cups Brown or Green Lentils Rinsed, picked over
1 1/4 cups Basmati Brown Rice
4 cloves, minced Garlic
1 Tablespoons Cumin
1 Tablespoon Coriander
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Sugar
pinch Salt
Caramelized Onions
5 large, slivered White Onion
Generous Salt For initially preparing onions; you will rinse with water after
Vegan Tzatziki
1, diced White Onion
1, diced English Cucumber
1/2 cup chopped Dill
1 clove, minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Low-Fat Vegenaise or Silken Tofu Use silken tofu for a lower fat version
pinch Salt
pinch Fresh Ground Pepper

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Lentils and rice are combined with Lebanese spices to create this filling, subtly spicy dish with cool vegan tzatziki cucumber dill sauce, topped with fat-free caramelized onions.

  • 45 minutes
  • Serves 6
  • Medium


  • Caramelized Onions

  • Vegan Tzatziki



Majadra is a Lebanese food made from lentils, basmati rice and onions, seasoned with cumin, cayenne, allspice and coriander. Subtly spicy, it can be eaten in a bowl, in a sandwich, or as a side dish. We frequent a Middle Eastern restaurant where we live called La Marsa. Although we eat there often, the Majadra is too oily for me.  La Marsa serves a lot of vegan dishes, so Middle Eastern Restaurants cater to vegans.  Tzatziki Sauce is typically made with yogurt, but I ‘veganized’ it easily for this recipe.

Lebanese food has incredible spices and flavors, but usually also contains a lot of unnecessary oils and other fats. Most recipes contain a half a cup of oil, and that doesn’t the oil add to caramelize the onions. Taking the fat out and maintaining the taste of the lentils and rice with the right spices and flavors provides a hearty meal with very few calories. If you are an onion fan, you will love this dish! We LOVE onions and spice, so this is a dish we eat often.





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Cooking the lentils

Rinse and pick out any undesirable lentils
Boil 4 cups of water and add lentils; cook on medium low for 20 minutes uncovered.
In the meantime, prepare the rice.


Preparing the rice

While the lentils cook, put the rice in a large sized measuring cup and cover with warm water (from the tap; not hot; just warm). Leave it for the 20 minutes while the lentils are cooking.


Preparing the onions

In the meantime cut 1 onion, dicing it into small pieces; put aside
Cut the other four onions in thin strips. Put in a microwave safe dish and salt generously; cook in the microwave on high heat for 5 minutes (covered with a paper towel to avoid any splatter)
When onions are done, rinse well with water, drain and place on a blanket of paper towels, patting the other side dry withe more paper towels. Leave to further dry out.


Prepare the lentils and rice together

Remove lentils from heat, and drain and rinse throughly in cold water.
Using your hand, run your fingers through the rice in the warm water, and begin rinsing through with cold water. I use a mini strainer, and continue to rinse rice with cold water until the water runs clear (not milky as it will in the beginning.
This is generally where people add oil, but don’t do it! I

Instead, take the diced onions and garlic and saute in a nonstick large, deep pan. The sweat from the onions and garlic will provide enough moisture that you won’t need oil. If you need to add a tiny bit of vegetable broth, go ahead and do so, but you shouldn’t have to. Now, add all the spices and stir them into the onion and garlic mixture.
Cook on medium until fragrant and moisture has dissipated.
Now, add the rinsed rice. You are going to move the rice around in the garlic, onion spice mixture. The moisture from the rice will provide a non-stick surface to cook the rice slightly before adding the water.
Add 2 1/2 cups of cold water to rice mixture and bring to a boil. Then, add lentils and cover and simmer for 25 minutes. When it is done, remove from heat; take top off pan, and place a clean dry kitchen towel over the top of the pan, off the heat, and leave for 20 minutes.


Preparing the Fat-free Caramelized Onions

Using a non stick pan and a small amount of vegetable broth (when needed), Cook the four remaining onion slices on medium heat.
Season as you wish; you have washed the salt you started with off the onions, so add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the onions until browned on the edges.
Remove from heat.


Preparing the Vegan Tzatziki

Combine ingredients in a bowl.
Mix with a fork until all ingredients are combined.
Refrigerate until using.


Putting it all together

Remove the towel from the pot.
Stir in sliced onions or put them on the top.
Serve and adjust seasoning by adding any of the spices already in the mix.
I served with vegan pita bread! Enjoy!

Kathy Carmichael

Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a high school English teacher by day & vegan enthusiast and blogger by night. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines the health of us & our planet! :)

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