In an effort to diversify my cooking repertoire, I took a baby step with this Middle Eastern rice pilaf and was pleasantly surprised. Served with a side of greens, it was a great easy dinner that was healthy and easy on the wallet. The caramelized onions are cooked slowly to give a sweet and spicy kick to the rice and lentils.
4 onions, sliced
3/4 cup lentils
3/4 cup rice
1/2 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
Heat oil and a dash of salt in a large non-stick skillet on medium low heat. Add onions, sugar and spices and stir every few minutes for half of an hour. At this point, the onions should be softening and turning a nice golden brown. Turn up the heat and cook the onions for an additional 15 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Once done, set aside.
In the meantime, prepare the lentils and rice according to their package directions. (You can cook them together if you want, just add the lentils a little after the rice so they don't become too soft)
Mix together lentils, rice, most of the onions, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, garnished with remaining onions.