This Middle-Eastern dish made with Basmati rice, lentils and caramelized onions is aromatic, a little spicy and pairs well with grilled meat.It's especially good when topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This recipe makes 6 servings.
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 20 minutes
1 cup brown or green lentils sorted and rinsed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
3 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Add lentils to a medium sauce pan. Cover the lentils with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat a large, heavy skillet to medium-high. Add the cumin seeds, and peppercorns and cook for one minute. Add the onions and season with salt. Cook until the onions turn a dark, caramel-colored brown, about 20 minutes. Remove half of the onions with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Add the ground cumin, cayenne and cinnamon stick; sauté for one minute.
Add the rice and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the rice begins to toast. Add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover rice and taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
To serve, spoon some of the rice into a serving bowl and top with some caramelized onions, a bit of fresh lemon juice and yogurt, if using.