Serves 4 | Hands-on time 40 min | Easy
This Ottolenghi-inspired dish of rice and lentils is full of warming Lebanese flavours – a comforting dinner recipe for those cooler nights.
Nutritional info per serving
Fat 30.2g (7.2g saturated)
Carbohydrates 92.5g (13.6g sugars)
Salt 0.2g salt
500ml sunflower oil
4 onions, finely sliced
Generous handful plain flour, well seasoned with salt
200g green or brown lentils
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
250g basmati rice
Large pinch caster sugar
Small bunch fresh coriander
For the garlic yogurt
250ml Greek yogurt
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
01. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan until it shimmers. Rub the onions in the flour to coat them, then add in batches to the hot oil – it should sizzle as they go in – and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
02. Cook the lentils according to the pack instructions for a couple of minutes less than the time stated (they should still be firm), then drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and set aside.
03. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the cumin and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat, until the spices become fragrant, then add the turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and sugar, stirring to coat it in the spices, season well with salt and pepper, then add the lentils and 700ml water. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down and bubble gently for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
04. Meanwhile, mix all the garlic yogurt ingredients in a bowl, season and set aside. Once tender, remove the rice from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and place a lid tightly on top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then fluff up with a fork and stir in half the fried onions. Pile onto a serving platter, top with the remaining onions and a scattering of coriander, then serve with the garlic yogurt on the side.
We have to credit Ottolenghi with introducing us to this comforting Arab dish, to which we’ve added a garlicky yogurt side.
The crispy onions will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 12 hours. Re-crisp in a low oven before serving