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November 9, 2011

Pilaf of Rice, Lentils, and Caramelized Onion

  • Michelle Riley/The HSUS

Serves 4

4 tablespoons olive oil 
2 large onions, peeled and sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick
1 1/4 cups (285g) green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 cup (225g) long-grain brown or white rice (such as basmati)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
1/4 cup (60g) chopped fresh parsley

This dish may sound plain, but it is delicious and satisfying and can be dressed up with a variety of side dishes and salads. It is an economical, gluten-free meal that also makes for great leftovers.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until the onions caramelize and turn dark brown (approximately 10-12 minutes).

In a separate pan, add the lentils and salt to one quart (one litre) water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, and pepper and stir. Add additional water, if needed, to cover rice and lentils by about 3/4 inch. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is done, about 25-30 minutes.

Stir half the onions into the lentils, and let stand for five minutes. Serve the lentils and rice on individual plates or on a platter and cover with the remaining onions.

Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon (optional) and a sprinkle of parsley. A cucumber salad—or any crunchy side salad—makes a perfect companion to this dish.


(per serving)

Calories: 535
Fat: 16g
Fiber: 21g
Carbs: 79g
Protein: 21g
Sodium: 581 mg

Read more from the Guide to Meat-Free Meals