Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions

  • By Christine Newheart
  • 10 Jan, 2016

Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira

  • cup brown or green lentils (not lentils du Puy), sorted for debris and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Greek yogurt, for serving, optional

 

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Throw the lentils into a medium saucepan . Fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, grab a large skillet. Pop it over medium-high heat and add the oil. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan once in a while until the cumin seeds darken a touch, about 1 minute.

Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan. You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color and by the slight crispiness developing on some of the onions.

Using a slotted spoon or spatula , remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate; these are for garnish later. Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and then add the cinnamon stick ; saute about 1 minute.

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