This recipe was given to me by a Lebanese friend who’s mum makes this all the time. When he was explaining the recipe, it didn’t really sound particularly amazing, but how wrong I was! It seems like there’s alot of oil in this dish (and there is, I suppose) but it doesn’t actually taste oily, trust me.
The way to eat this yummy dish is to grab some Imjaddarra and some salad together on your fork, and eat it in the same mouthful. You’ll get a really awesome contrast of hot & cold, and soft & crunchy. Amazing!
Also, it goes really well with a glass of Rosé
Time: Approx 45-60mins (not all of it in front of the stovetop!)
- 3 onions (4 onions if you want to be fancy and do the garnish)
- 2 cups brown lentils (also known as green lentils)
- 1 cup rice
- Olive oil
- Big saucepan
Add the lentils to the saucepan, cover with water until the water is about 5cm above the lentils, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a high simmer, and simmer until lentils are softened. Scoop out any foamy stuff from the top of the water, as this can make you gassy (yuck!). Keep an eye on the water level, never let the lentils become uncovered by the water. Add more during cooking if necessary.
While the lentils are cooking, roughly chop the onions and add to the frypan, add olive until the onions are almost covered. It will seem like you’re using way too much oil, but don’t worry, it gets absorbed by both the onions and the lentils during cooking, and helps to impart a delicious flavour to the dish. And anyway, olive oil is good for you
Cook the onions on a medium-high heat, but not too high so that the oil splatters, until the onions are well and truly browned. The browner the better, but not burnt please!
By the time your onions are ready, your lentils should also be cooked. There should still be some water on top of the lentils, if not, add a bit.
If you’re doing the fancy onion garnish, remove some of the onion from the frypan now and set aside. Then, empty the contents of the frypan into the lentil pot – that’s all the onions, and all the oil too. Also add the rice to the pot.
Stir until combined, and cook until all the water has been absorbed by the rice.
For fancy moulded serving (as per photo), line a small bowl with foil, then press the mixture into the bowl. Cover with foil for 5mins or so to keep the heat in, then upturn onto a plate and remove foil. Voila! If you’re garnishing, add some of the reserved onion on top of the moulded dish.
For the salad:
I suppose you could really do any salad you want, the ingredients for my salad in the photo was:
- Truss tomatoes
- Red capsicum
- Purple cabbage
- Red onions (but not too much as there’s heaps of onions in the Imjaddarra)
- Daikon (or some sort of radish)
- Tat soi (or some sort of leafy green or lettuce)
Chop everything up, combine with some olive oil and lemon juice.
Source: Steven Khalil’s brain.