How to Make Jon’s Delicious Lebanese Judra (Lentils and Rice)

If you’re a fan of cooking, the name Jon Koobation is no stranger to you. The head chef and owner of the iconic Jon’s Bear Club restaurant in Reedley, California, has decades of experience and tons of recipes to share with enthusiasts. The prominent Lebanese Judra recipe (also known as Mujadara) is one of the many featured in his Cooking With Jon cookbook, and here’s a sneak peek on how to make it.

Jon’s Delicious Lebanese Judra (Lentils and Rice)


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups Swanson’s chicken broth (or beef or vegetable broth)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup long grain rice (or coarse bulgur), rinsed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Dash of cumin (optional)

Preparing the Lebanese Judra

Making this flavorful Judra dish is much easier than you think. Here’s the step-by-step process as explained by chef Jon.

Step 1

Grab a medium-sized saucepan and add the broth and lentils. Let them simmer for 15 minutes. Then, add the rice and water. Stir well and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 more minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid.

Step 2

Caramelize the onions. To do that, preheat another saucepan with olive oil and sauté the onion until dark brown but be careful not to burn it. Once nicely caramelized, add the onion slices to the rice and lentil mixture and fold them well. Add salt and pepper to taste, and feel free to drizzle with olive oil.

Step 3

Add a dash of cumin, if desired, and serve while still hot. You can add yogurt to the side for extra flavor. Enjoy your Judra!

Judra served in a bowl with yogurt on the side

Note from Chef Jon:

Be careful not to leave the onions in the saucepan for too long because if they get burnt, they will add an unpleasant bitter taste to the dish and ruin it. Soft unburnt onions are still juicy inside, while burnt ones are thinner and will easily disappear into the dish. Watch over the saucepan like a hawk to ensure you don’t end up with burnt onions!