1/4 c olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 c lentils
1/2 c rice
1 tsp salt
seasonings to taste: cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, thyme
In a large skillet, cook the onions in olive oil until deeply caramelized. Don’t rush this part – it can take 30 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the lentils, covered by an inch of water, to boil in another saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
(When I make this with brown rice – sometimes the only rice I have – I add the rice for the initial cooking with the lentils, otherwise the rice might take forever to get done.)
When the onions are ready, stir in the rice, lentils, 2 c of water, and salt, stirring to mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer, cover, and cook, 20-40 minutes, until the rice is done. After about 20 minutes, remove the lid and stir. If there is still some visible liquid, replace the lid and keep cooking until the liquid is fully absorbed. If there is no visible liquid, check to see if the rice is tender. If it is, the dish is done! If not, add a little more water and keep simmering until the rice is tender. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 4-6 servings.
01.10.10 Update: Used mostly cumin and paprika to season, with smaller amounts of cayenne and cinnamon. Next time will caramelize the onions to an even deeper shade of caramel. This is really good with sour cream and a lemon slice garnish – the lemon juice brings out the flavors. We ate oure with garlic bread and salad.