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Makes 4 servings 1x

Units Scale


  • 280 g / 10 ounces green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 350 g / 1 3/4 cups medium-grain rice
  • 600 ml / 2 1/2 cups hot water


  • 2 spring onions (scallions, chopped)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Soak the lentils in water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the soaking water.
  2. In a pot, combine the lentils, salt, and 750 ml / 3 1/8 cups water. Cook over medium heat until the lentils are al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse the lentils with cold water to stop the cooking, then leave to drain.
  3. Pour 60 ml / 1/4 cup of the olive oil into a medium-size frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Sprinkle the sugar on the onions and cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, until the onions are caramelised.
  4. Drain half the onions on paper towels and leave the other half in the oil.
  5. In a large pot, heat the remaining 60 ml / 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir well until the spices release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir well to coat with the spices, then pour in the hot water. Bring to a boil and decrease the heat to medium. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lentils and stir well. Continue to cook until the lentils and rice are tender with a slight crunch—almost done, about 12 minutes.
  6. Pour the reserved onions and oil into the pot, stir well to mix with the rice and lentils, and leave on low heat until the water reduces. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine the spring onions, lemon juice, sumac, and remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Transfer the rice and lentils to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Sprinkle the dressing on top. Garnish with the reserved caramelised onions and serve.

— Recipe from Fadi Kattan’s Bethlehem: A Celebration of Palestinian Food