2 people made this

About this recipe: This is a traditional arabic recipe, passed down from my Palestinian grandmother, to my mother, and then to me. I always loved this as a kid, and being a vegetarian dish, was something i was keen to do as my mother always said it was so simple and tasty. Its also very cheap to make, and really nutritious. The secret is not to skimp on the onion, and to let the onion cook slowly for a long time, till almost brown, but still soft.

SimonB London, England, UK

Serves: 5 

  • 400g green lentils
  • 2 pints water
  • vegetable stock
  • 5 large onions
  • olive oil
  • 100g basmati rice
  • salt
  • pepper

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:1hr10min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly and leave to drain. Rinse rice and leave to drain.
  2. Chop onions in half, then into thin slices. Fry in a generous amount of olive oil, and then leave on a low heat, covered, stirring occasionally to prevent overcooking at the base of the pan, until the onions start to caramelise. This can take a good 30 - 40 mins.
  3. While the onion is cooking, in a large saucepan, add the lentils to the water and stock, bringing to the boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. The lentils need to swell, and then burst, causing the water to thicken - it needs to be a thick consistency, so if it seems watery, keep it cooking with the lid off to reduce a little. This can take at least 60 - 70 mins
  4. When the lentils have all burst, and its a fairly thick consistency, add the rice and cook for a further 15 mins. If it seems too thick (the rice will absorb some of the water) add a little more water.
  5. Finally, stir in the caramelised onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Can be eaten hot or cold - both are delicious.
  6. Serve with a wedge of lemon, plain yoghurt, and a simple salad.

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Reviews (2)


Made this last night. So worth the time - amazing! - 09 Jul 2012


Easy to do just follow recipe closely ... Once you've done it a couple of times you won't need to follow it !!! Very moorish ....couldn't stop tasting it ... Will do doubt become a family favourite .. We had it with curry as a side dish - 27 Jan 2012

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