skip to content
This recipe was featured in Vegetarian.
Shannon Skaalure | Tri-County EC
Lentils are a great ingredient for meatless meals, and this staple Middle Eastern dish is an excellent option. Even though cooking the onions down takes time, the results are worth it. Serve topped with yogurt or labneh—strained yogurt—if you like.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
Large pinch dried thyme, oregano and/or rosemary
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup green, brown or red lentils
3/4 cup rice
1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pepper, to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes, for garnish
Chopped fresh herbs, for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, then add onions. Add a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions turn golden brown, 15–45 minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn. Transfer half of the onions to a plate, leaving remaining half in the skillet.
2. Add garlic to skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add cumin, allspice and cayenne and sauté a few seconds to toast the spices. Stir in herbs and broth, bring to a simmer, and add salt to taste.
3. Add in lentils, cover and simmer with lid cracked until lentils are almost done (25–30 minutes for green and brown lentils, 15–20 minutes for red). Stir rice into the pot and continue to cook until everything is tender, 15–20 minutes. Close lid completely if it looks too thick while cooking.
4. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Top with reserved onions and garnishes.