We had a short 1-week holiday in Scotland last week. Prior to that, most of Northern Germany was in the grips of E.Coli paranoia and we were no exception. After days of no progress on finding the source we decided to play it safe and ditch the fresh lettuce, cukes, tomatoes and other vegetables that we had in the fridge. When we returned the source was somewhat inconclusively nailed down to a bean sprout grower. Our fridge however was still relatively bare, and, it being a holiday weekend, we had limited options for stocking up. (Note: as of today the E.Coli has been traced back to a stream in Frankfurt.)
What we did have was a bag of onions, some lovely brown lentils that I picked up on our trip to Spain, and rice. Being an ex-vegetarian I knew I'd get a proper protein with the lentil-rice combo and a garnish of lemon/garlic/cumin spiked yoghurt would help in that regard too.
I used Claudia Roden's recipe featured on Food&Wine online. It's pretty straightforwards and quick to make. Perfect for a mid-week meal and great as leftovers for lunch!
Brown Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions
from Claudia Roden in Food & Wine online
5 Tbsp olive oil
750g onions, thinly sliced
265g brown lentils
5 cups water
255g long grain rice (i used basmati)
1 cup yoghurt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin (i used about 1 tsp cumin + 1/2 tsp cayenne)
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the lentils are partially cooked, about 15 minutes. Stir in half the onions, the rice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice and lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile, cook the remaining onions over high heat until dark brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir the onions frequently so they don't stick to the bottom of the skillet and burn.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the garlic, lemon juice and cumin. Transfer the lentils and rice to a shallow bowl and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them. Sprinkle with the caramelized onions and serve. Pass the yogurt separately.