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Soak lentils in water to cover by 3 inches for 3-4 hours. Drain
Soak rice in water to cover by 3 inches for 30 minutes. Drain
Pul oil in wide, heavy, medium pan and set over med-high heat. When hot, put in onions. Sir and fry for about 12 minutes, or until dark brown and crisp. Lower the heat as the onions darken. Remove onions with slotted spoon and spread out on plate lined with paper towels.
Turn heat to medium and pat the drained lentils and rice into the remaining onion-flavored oil left in the pan. Add the cumin, a generous amount of black pepper, and the salt. Very gently, saute the rice and lentils for 5 minutes, being careful not to break the rice grains. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover very tightly (use a piece of foil between the lid and pot to ensure a tight seal), turn the heat down to very low, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
Fluff up the rice and lentils and spread out on a warm serving plate. Sprinkle the browned, crisp onions over the top.
Serve with a substantial salad.
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