My mother-in-law grew up in a small mountain village of Lebanon. Meat was scarce and vegetarian meals were common. This low-cost meal serves a large family and fills the tummy with hardy and protein packed lentils. To make the original and true version, use 7-spice instead of Allspice. You can find 7-spice at a Middle Eastern food store.
Servings: 8 large portionsPrep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
4 onions chopped
1 stick of butter
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
4 teaspoons of cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
28 ounces of water or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups of washed lentils
1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice
Note: I cook this without salt. You can add salt when you add the rice, if you desire.
Begin by chopping onions.
In a pan, combine the butter, two tablespoons of olive oil, and 3 1/2 of the onions. Cook over a very low heat for approximately 40 minutes. You’ll want your onions to slowly caramelize to the point where they will crisp when cooled.
In a large stock pot, add two tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 onion. Cook over medium heat until the onions are tender. Add four minced garlic cloves and cook for an additional minute. Then you will add your spices. Allow the spices to heat up.
Add your water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Add lentils. Cover and cook for 10 minutes at a slow boil.
Add rice, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until rice is done (approx. 20 minutes).
The crispy onions and dirty rice with lentils should be finished just about the same time, which means this dish can be plated hot.
Put the dirty rice and lentils on a serving platter and top with the crispy onions and warm butter.
We like to eat this with a side of minty cucumber yogurt. So delicious!
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