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Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions.

Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

From the book, "Veganomicon." Note: Substitute brown, green, or black lentils for the red lentils. Unlike red lentils, these varieties hold their shape so this dish will have more of a pilaf-like consistency, but is still delicious.
Course Beans and Grains
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero


  • 3 large yellow onions peeled and sliced into thin rings (about three pounds)
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup long-grain basmati rice brown or white, rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1-½ teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large, deep baking pan, toss the onion rings with the olive oil to coat. Be sure to separate the rings and spread them out in the pan. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often. The idea is to get most of the onion rings deep brown, crisp, and even burned on the edges. The deeper they roast, the sweeter they will taste. When done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the rice, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, and allspice. Bring back to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Uncover and add the lentils, cumin, and allspice; stir gently only a few times (too much stirring can break the rice grains); cover, bring to boil again, lower the heat to low, and cook for an additional 45 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside the covered pot for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a fork to gently fluff the lentils and rice. Remove the cinnamon stick. Gently fold the caramelized onions into the lentils and rice, making sure to drizzle on any remaining olive oil from the roasting pan. Stir thoroughly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Spiced Pita Crisps, serves 4, time: 15 minutes.
  7. white or whole wheat pitas
  8. olive oil fro brushing
  9. teaspoon or more per pita of the following spices; pick just one and stick with it or be like a crazy person and experiment with these mixtures:
  10. Garam Masala
  11. Garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt or
  12. Lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Slice open a pita along the edges, and carefully open and separate each half. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with your seasoning(s) of choice. Spread the pitas on cookie sheets (a little overlapping is okay) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Watch and be careful not to burn.
  15. Cool on the cookie sheets and store in plastic bags.