I have prepared this traditional Lebanese dish since before I was married. It is one of my husband's favorites! You'll see it is a very basic recipe; however, the lentils and rice are surprisingly flavorful - almost buttery, with sweet bits of caramelized onions. Other variations of the traditional Lebanese recipe include additional vegetables, such as carrots, celery and tomatoes, garlic. Some also include meat. -LuAnn (notes in parentheses are mine)
2 cups dried green lentils (I just used ordinary brown lentils; I have also seen recipes using red lentils)
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used brown JASMINE rice, which is much more aromatic and tasty than regular brown rice)
1 teaspoon salt plus extra to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus extra to taste
6 1/3 cups water (divided use)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups minced onions
Plain yogurt, garnish
Lemon wedges, garnish
In a heavy soup pot, combine the lentils, rice, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and 6 cups of the water.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 35 minutes, or until the rice is done.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil over low heat.
When hot, add the onion sand saute until soft and slightly browned.
Add the remaining 1/3 cup water and simmer 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
Stir the onion mixture into the lentil mixture.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour into individual serving bowls.
Spoon a dollop of yogurt over each serving and garnish with the lemon wedges.
I highly recommend this book if you are interested in adding more fiber- and protein-rich legumes (dried beans and peas) to your diet. It not only has recipes, many of which are illustrated with beautiful full-page color photos, but also a wealth of other information, such as a full-color reference of bean varieties and tips on growing and harvesting a bumper bean crop. It is currently out of print, but used copies are available on Amazon.