This traditional Lebanese comfort food is a combination of rice, lentils, and fried onions. I can not stress enough how good this dish is! It’s so flavorful and can also be made with ground lamb or ground beef. Today, I made it meatless but don’t under estimate this dish just because there is no meat. The caramelized onions add just enough depth of salty flavor along with crisp crunch and for added coolness, you can add a blend of yogurt seasoned with fresh chopped mint leaves and ground cumin, paired with crisp lemony salad. Do I have your mouth watering yet? Good, then maybe I’ve convinced you to try it.
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 3 cups of water or chicken stock
- 1 cup of basmati rice rinsed and soaked
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cups chopped large yellow onions
- 2 cups of sliced onions for frying
- 2 cloves
- 1 stick of cinnoman
- 4 cloves of chopped and smashed garlic
- 2 tsp of salt & pepper
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of all spice
- Soak the basmati rice according to the instructions.
- Meanwhile wash & boil the lentils with tsp of salt and a cinnamon stick and an onion cut in half (just thrown in the water to boil & will take out later) and cover with lid.
- Cook the lentil with either chicken stock or water. Add enough to use for the rice later. Cook the lentils until half way cooked but still slightly firm, and then drain but reserve the lentil water for cooking the rice. Also, remove the onions.
- Start the rice by sautéing the onions and garlic until transparent.
- Add in the cloves, 1 stick of cinnoman and cook for a 2-3 mins more.
- Now add in the spices salt & pepper, cumin, all spice, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cook for a 1-2 min.
- Add in the Rice ( use correct about of liquid for the rice) and use liquid reserved from the boiled lentils. Turn down the heat to medium low and close lid.
- Cook of 15-20 min depending on the direction on the packaging for the rice.
- Heat up vegetable oil or oil of choice to fry the onions. Cook until dark golden brown and dry on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and cumin.
- Lay the rice on a serving tray and top it of with the freshly fried onions.
** This dish is best eaten hot and served right after frying the onions. Serve with a simple salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, olive oil, salt, cumin and 1 lemon. Yogurt tastes great with this dish especially with chopped mint and a sprinkle of ground cumin.
Enjoy and savor every bite!
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