Rice and lentils

    4 hours 35 min

    This super-hearty dish takes a little while to make, but the results are really worth it. Rice and lentils are layered in a deep pot and simmered until tender. It's served with dates, raisins and fried onions.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 450g uncooked white rice
    • 950ml water or as needed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 475ml water or more as needed
    • salt to taste
    • 385g dry lentils, rinsed
    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
    • 75ml hot water
    • 110g pitted, chopped dates
    • 125g raisins
    • oil as needed

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Extra time:3hr soaking  ›  Ready in:4hr35min 

    1. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with water. Soak the rice for about 3 hours and drain off the water. Bring the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 950ml water to the boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is partially cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain the liquid from the rice and set aside.
    2. Bring 475ml of water and 1 pinch of salt to the boil in a saucepan and stir in the lentils. Bring to the boil and cook over medium heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the onions, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside. Dissolve the saffron in 75ml hot water and set aside.
    4. In a large non-stick pot with deep sides, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering and spoon in half the rice to cover the bottom of the pot. Top the rice with the lentils and cover the lentils with the remaining rice. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and cook until the rice is completely tender and there is a golden brown, crusty layer of rice on the bottom of the pot, about 20 minutes. Pour the saffron water over the rice and lentils, cover and allow to cook until absorbed, about 10 more minutes.
    5. To serve, spoon into a serving dish and peel off and place pieces of the crusty rice layer on top. Garnish with dates, raisins and fried onions.

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    Reviews in English (7)


    I love Persian rice dishes and have been experimenting for awhile with different recipes. The cooking technique for this dish is right on based upon my research. I do have a few tips, however. For best results use Basmati rice. In addition to soaking the rice I rinsed it gently until the water ran clear. Watch the rice carefully when you're parboiling it. 8-9 minutes was plenty for me. For the final cooking stage with the lentils make sure you use a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid like a dutch oven. Finally, I cover the pot with a damp dish towel and then put the lid on. This helps to ensure the perfect individual grains that Persian rice is known for. As long as the heat is on low you can cook for more than the 30 minutes suggested. The key to this rice is a crispy layer at the bottom of the pan and this recipe doesn't disappoint. The onions, dates and raisins are garnishes in my opinion, but don't skimp on the saffron. Excellent. Thanks XXXX!  -  06 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    hey!!well i just wanna add you can omit the dates and raisins serve it with feta cheese or fried fish thats how the Rashties have it!  -  13 Aug 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    6 Stars!!! This is one of my husband's favorite foods! Good with some plain yogurt, too. The recipe takes practice, but pays off since the procedure is a common one for Persian Rice recipes. The tasty, crispy rice covering "bottom of the pot" is hard for anyone to resist. Thanks XXXX.....keep the recipes coming!  -  28 Nov 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)