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This is a lovely recipe from the Middle East. First recorded in 1226, you’ll be having a piece of history for dinner.

Back home I used to have lentils once a week but the Spanish way, with meats (Chorizo, ribs, pig ear…). This version is much lighter and with exotic flavours.

Healthy, suitable for vegetarians and full of flavours.


  • 200gr Basmati Rice.
  • 200gr. Lentils.
  • 2 Onions.
  • 1 Tea spoon Turmeric.
  • 1 Tea spoon Cumin.
  • 1  Cinnamon stick.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Salt.
*As a side you can make  a lovely sauce by mixing 2 small Greek Yoghurts, 2  tea spoons chopped mint, a finely chopped Courgette, juice from 1 lemon, a bit of Olive Oil, black pepper and salt.


Slice the onion in stripes. Season and reserve in a colander. By doing this, they should release some water and they will be crispier.

Put the lentils in a pot with 1.2 litres of cold water and salt. Cook for around 30 minutes at low/medium heat. If they get too dry add a bit of water.

In another pot, toast the cumin seeds to release all their flavour. Add some olive oil, turmeric, cinnamon and the rice. Stir for 1 minute. Add the lentils with their liquid plus 400ml. of water. Season and cover when starts to boil. Cook for 15 minutes. If it gets too dry add a bit of water. Remove from the heat and cover with a cloth. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

While cooking the rice you can start frying the onions. Squeeze a bit the onion to release the excess water. Put in pan some olive oil. Fry the onions at medium/high heat until golden crispy. Place the in a plate with a paper towel.

Mix half of the onion with the rice and lentils. Serve with some fried onion on top and sprinkle with fresh coriander or mint.

*As a side you can make  a Yoghurt Sauce by mixing 2 small, two tea spoons chopped mint, a finely chopped Courgette, juice from 1 lemon, a bit of Olive Oil and salt.